Biggest vaccination insurance compensation payout to be €100,000

Coronavirus vaccinations.
Coronavirus vaccinations. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

As planned, a comprehensive vaccine insurance system will be created in May next year, which will initially only cover damages stemming from first vaccine doses. The maximum compensation to be paid out is planned to be at €100,000, Ministry of Social Affairs healthcare network manager Heli Paluste said.

On Thursday, the government supported proposals by Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) for the creation of a comprehensive vaccine insurance system to cover all vaccines used in Estonia that is set to be sent to the parliament attached to the patient insurance system bill before the year is out.

The insurance system would be valid for COVID-19 vaccines retroactively with other vaccines added to the system in 2023. As of the current plan, fixed sums will be used to compensate people for both material and non-material damage depending on severity.

Heli Paluste said on ETV's current affairs show "Ringvaade" on Thursday that the overarching criteria is that there must be serious damage to health for a period of at least four months. She added that the damage must be recorded in medical records and precondition for compensation is that the person is unable to work because of the vaccine.

Vaccine damages will be distributed into five categories: very serious, serious, moderate, less moderate and light. The lowest compensation would be €1,000 and the highest would be €100,000 with the latter only used in case of very serious situations.

If the system were to be made available, people must apply for compensation themselves, Paluste said. If an application has been submitted, the Agency of Medicines will assess if there is a definite or probable association between the damage and vaccines. The agency will consult with experts, if necessary. If there is a link, the Health Insurance Fund will begin assess the seriousness to determine the according compensation.

In case of death, the person's heirs can apply for compensation. There have four cases in Estonia, for which the Agency of Medicines has assessed that an association with vaccines cannot be ruled out. All four of these cases are linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. "There are no definite associations," Paluste noted.

The social ministry said that as for other vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines are very safe – serious side-effects are extremely rare. For example, over 1.65 million doses of vaccine had been administered in Estonia by the morning of November 30, while all reports of side-effects and ineffectiveness to the Health Board totaled 6,017 or concerned just 0.36 percent of doses.

Notices that described at least one serious side-effect and where a temporal link to vaccination could be established numbered fewer still at 238.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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