(By Ernesto Cooke) – St Vincent and the Grenadines are among 92 low- and middle-income countries which will benefit from the first and only global vaccine injury compensation mechanism.
The vaccine injury compensation mechanism operating on an international scale will offer eligible individuals in AMC-eligible countries and economies a fast, fair, robust and transparent process to receive compensation for rare but serious adverse events associated with COVAX-distributed vaccines until 30 June 2022.
By providing a no-fault lump-sum compensation in full and final settlement of any claims, the COVAX programme aims to significantly reduce the need for recourse to the law courts, a potentially lengthy and costly process.
All vaccines procured or distributed through the COVAX Facility receive regulatory approval or an emergency use authorization to confirm their safety and efficacy.
But, as with all medicines, even vaccines that are approved for general use may, in rare cases, cause serious adverse reactions.
The COVAX no-fault compensation programme will be operationalized through its web portal (www.covaxclaims.com) by 31 March 2021, will include resources such as the programme’s protocol, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and information on how to submit an application.
Eligible individuals may apply for compensation under the programme once the portal becomes operational, even if a COVAX-distributed vaccine is administered to them before 31 March 2021.
The programme is financed initially through Gavi COVAX AMC donor funding, calculated as a levy charged on all doses of COVID-19 vaccines distributed through the COVAX Facility to the AMC eligible economies until 30 June 2022.
The delivery of COVID-19 vaccines during 2021 will be the fastest and largest global deployment of novel vaccines in history.
The COVAX Facility aims, by the end of 2021, to deliver at least 2 billion doses of safe, effective and quality-assured vaccines to all participating countries, including at least 1.3 billion doses to the 92 AMC-eligible countries and economies, at the same time as wealthier nations.