Health minister denies conflict over vaccination damage fund

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik. Source: Jürgen Randma/Government Office

Creating the vaccination damage fund has caused a conflict between coalition members. The Center Party wants to establish a compensation fund, but the Reform Party does not. Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said denied there is a big conflict in the government.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said creating the fund would send a signal to the public that there are extensive side effects from vaccination.

Member of the Riigikogu Andrei Korobeinik (Center) criticized the prime minister's statement on Saturday and said Kiik will take this issue to the government again this week.

Deputy chairman of the Reform Party and member of the Riigikogu Jürgen Ligi told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Sunday that Kiik should work on substantial matters - he is responsible for creating patient insurance system and on point there should be compensation for side effects of different medications, not only the coronavirus vaccine.

"We can't take one medication out of the system and create an impression that vaccinating is something dangerous, something which the government is forcing the public to do," Ligi said.

The Reform Party also does not support Center Party's idea to pay €100 to pensioners to get vaccinated. The over 80s currently have one of Estonia's lowest vaccinate rates.

Kiik said he will bring the patient insurance draft legislation to the government, but there are also proposals regarding treating vaccination damages.

"This discussion will be over details. The fact that we will move forward with the patient insurance primarily, which has been agreed on earlier and will look at the vaccination damage treatment alongside, has already been decided on. More detailed solutions need to be discussed," Kiik said.

He added the Reform Party has not agreed with the compensation plan for pensioners.

Opposition Isamaa Party member Urmas Reinsalu supports the vaccination damage fund plan highlighting the experience of several other countries.

"The country has obviously made people face this difficult choice to vaccinate. Then it's reasonable to offer the compensation in order to give trust and security. It's a universal way to mitigate risks," Reinsalu said.

Reinsalu said that he would not continue to work as a minister in a coalition where all his ideas were thrown in the trash, referring to Kiik's position.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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