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A no-fault compensation scheme for serious adverse events attributed to vaccination

Heath A Kelly, Clare Looker and David Isaacs
Med J Aust 2011; 195 (1): 4-5.

No-fault compensation, based on the ethical principle of redistributive justice, should form a cornerstone of Australia’s immunisation strategy

Australia has an enviable reputation for its publicly funded vaccine program — a program that has benefited Australian children and adults over many years. In 2010, the National Immunisation Program funded 12 vaccines, twice as many as a decade previously. To monitor outcomes from this program, the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register, which commenced data collection in 1996, provides a detailed record of vaccine uptake by children.1 Funding for the register and for incentives to general practitioners to improve vaccine uptake are part of the total budget for Australia’s vaccine program, estimated to exceed $400 million annually.2,3 One area for improvement in the vaccine program is monitoring of adverse events following immunisation (AEFI). Another would be the introduction of a no-fault compensation scheme for serious adverse events which can be confidently attributed to vaccination.

  • Heath A Kelly1
  • Clare Looker1
  • David Isaacs2

  • 1 Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, NSW.

Correspondence: heath.kelly@mh.org.au

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