Health insurer to start accepting vaccine damages applications next week

COVID-19 vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccination. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Starting next week, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund will be accepting applications for compensation from people who have suffered coronavirus vaccine side-effects. Only those whose vaccination-related health problems have been long-term and been recorded by doctors qualify.

The 27-year-old son of Tatjana Fitania, who fought in support of the creation of the vaccine damages compensation scheme, received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on August 11 last year and suffered an anaphylactic shock. Since then, the young man has needed an ambulance around ten times as he keeps losing consciousness, "Aktuaalne kaamera" evening news reported.

"He gets a severe panic attack and people near him often have to call an ambulance because he cannot help himself in any way," Fitania said.

While the young man was initially diagnosed with epilepsy, doctors soon found that the condition was caused by a psychological trauma following vaccination. That is why the family is planning on seeking compensation.

"I'm used to thinking big, so a house by the sea would be the best form of compensation and my dream. Let us wait and see, because we will need to prove everything first," Fitania said.

The Estonian Health Insurance Fund will start accepting applications from people who have suffered coronavirus vaccination side-effects next week. Only those whose side-effects have been long-term and been recorded by doctors qualify.

Heli Paluste, head of the healthcare network for the Ministry of Social Affairs, said the fund will then look at medical records, involving experts where necessary, to determine the severity of complications. "The minimum compensation sum for mild cases is €2,000, while very severe health damage could fetch €100,000," Paluste said.

Estonia has earmarked €500,000 for vaccine damages this year. The State Agency of Medicines said that five deaths can be associated with vaccine damage this year. The total sum of compensation is fixed through a ministerial order.

Applications can be filed in hindsight and by those who have not notified the medicines agency of complications yet. The agency has received over 7,000 complaints 350 of which concern more serious health damage.

"Of these more serious cases, around 75 we consider to have links to vaccines. But I believe the Health Insurance Fund will get an avalanche of applications concerning cases we do not consider a serious reaction but where people have developed long-term reactions to vaccination, either joint pain or sensitivity problems," said Maia Uusküla, head of the medicine safety department of the State Agency of Medicines.

In Finland, people can seek compensation if health problems following vaccination have lasted for over two weeks or have cost over €86 to remedy.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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