WHO agrees compensation fund for serious COVAX vaccine side effects

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - The World Health Organization has agreed a no-fault compensation plan for claims of serious side effects in people in 92 poorer countries due to get COVID-19 vaccines via the COVAX sharing scheme, resolving a big concern among recipient governments. The programme, which the WHO said was the first and only vaccine injury compensation mechanism operating on an international scale, will offer eligible people 'a fast, fair, robust and transparent process', the WHO said in a statement

Reuters February 23, 2021 00:10:14 IST
WHO agrees compensation fund for serious COVAX vaccine side effects

WHO agrees compensation fund for serious COVAX vaccine side effects

By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) - The World Health Organization has agreed a no-fault compensation plan for claims of serious side effects in people in 92 poorer countries due to get COVID-19 vaccines via the COVAX sharing scheme, resolving a big concern among recipient governments.

The programme, which the WHO said was the first and only vaccine injury compensation mechanism operating on an international scale, will offer eligible people "a fast, fair, robust and transparent process", the WHO said in a statement.

"By providing a no-fault lump-sum compensation in full and final settlement of any claims, the COVAX programme aims to significantly reduce the need for recourse to the law courts, a potentially lengthy and costly process," the statement said.

Questions of how compensation claims would be handled in the event of any serious COVID-19 vaccine side effects, which are likely to be very rare, had been a worry for countries due to get COVID-19 shots via the COVAX plan.

Countries funding their own COVID-19 vaccine procurement also plan their own liability programmes.

The WHO-agreed plan, which has been under discussion for several months, is designed to cover serious side effects linked to any COVAX-distributed vaccines until June 30, 2022, to COVAX's Advance Market Commitment-eligible economies - a group of 92 poorer states which includes most African and Southeast Asian countries.

The programme will be financed initially from donor funding to the AMC as an extra charge on all doses of COVID-19 vaccines distributed through COVAX. Applications can be made via a portal at http://www.covaxclaims.com from March 31, 2021, the WHO said.

Seth Berkley, chief executive of the GAVI vaccine alliance which co-leads COVAX, said the agreement on the compensation fund was "a massive boost" for COVAX, which aims to secure equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines.

"It helps those in countries who might have such effects, manufacturers to roll out vaccines to countries faster, and is a key benefit for lower-income governments procuring vaccines through (COVAX)," Berkley said.

The WHO said it was also working with the insurance firm Chubb to secure insurance coverage for the programme.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Alison Williams)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.