The Australian government could be paying up to A$77 million (US$49.35 million) in vaccine injury claims over the next year, according to recently released budget estimates.
In the current 2021-22 financial year, the government has paid out just $937,000 after several hundred applications were accepted under Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme, according to the Portfolio Budget Statement for the Department of Social Services (not the Health Department).
The final number of applications is far smaller than the original 10,000 who registered their interest in November 2021.
Yet the Department of Social Services estimates, in a table under “Third-party payments from and on behalf of other entities,” that total pay-out numbers could jump 80-fold to $76.9 million over the 2022-23 financial year.
This is despite the difficulties with navigating the government compensation scheme, which personal injury lawyer Clare Eves has previously called a challenging process.
“It’s a bit of a slow process,” Eves, national practice leader at Shine Lawyers, told The Epoch Times. “And it’s maybe a bit more involved than people were anticipating that it was going to be.”
“The first hurdle really is, do you have one of the recognised covered conditions?” she said. “If you don’t, then you’re probably not going to be eligible.”
“We’ve had just under 350 inquiries about adverse outcomes, and they have been extremely varied, but most of them have a condition that has some ongoing impact,” she added. “Not many seem to fit within the criteria of the six categories.”
At the time, recognised adverse events included anaphylactic reaction, thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (blood-clotting), myocarditis, pericarditis, capillary leak syndrome, demyelinating disorders including Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS), and Thrombocytopenia, including immune Thrombocytopenia.
Eves revealed she had encountered individuals complaining of deconditioning, headaches, fatigue, strokes, and seizures—which fall outside the scheme.
MP Questions Why Vaccines are Costing the Government Millions in Compensation
Queensland Liberal Senator Gerard Rennick responded to the budget report by saying, “safe vaccines should not result in A$77 million for compensation.”
“The amount paid out to date is a disgrace. To think that vaccine victims have been neglected for so long is just shameful,” he wrote on Facebook.
So far, as of Oct. 16, 2022, Australian authorities have received 136,523 reports of adverse reactions from 63,807,197 administered doses. Currently, AstraZeneca, Novavax, Moderna, and Pfizer are all in use in the country.
Meanwhile, around the world, vaccine injury compensation claims have garnered little traction with authorities.
As of late July, Japanese authorities have approved 820 vaccine injury claims from 3,680 applications. In Canada, eight claims have been approved out of 774 claims, while the United States has yet to compensate a single claim.