Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine compensation fund is well under way. Beeld reports that Mkhize gave some detail about the fund when he visited the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg.
“The fund is being created to protect the government and manufacturers of vaccines in the event something goes wrong,” the Minister noted. He promised the “strongest possible” regulation of the fund to prevent dodgy claims.
A team will be appointed to verify all claims received, while a scientific team will evaluate and investigate any claim before the matter is placed before a judge to make a final decision, Mkhize said. The fund would only be available for vaccines administered at approved facilities as part of the government’s vaccine efforts.
“We will not take responsibility for other vaccines,” Mkhize said.
The financial extent of the fund has still to be calculated.
The “no-fault compensation fund” would allow those who may suffer permanent damage as a result of the COVID-19 vaccination to be compensated. “It's a concept that, basically, says anyone who might suffer harm or adverse effects after immunisation should report it. And if there is an indication of damage, how does such a person get compensated? So it’s a protection to South Africans,” Mkhize is quoted in TimesLIVE as saying.
Mkhize said that this would entail having a place available for South Africans to report any adverse affects. “It's going to have a team that will receive the complaints … Secondly, it will have a team of specialists who will evaluate whether the injury is real and linked to the vaccine that government actually procured. It's important to say that because we can't get people distributing (a) fake vaccine and then they come and claim from this fund. We are not going to do that, it needs to be linked.
If established, the fund will be administered by a retired judge, which would allow for matters to be concluded fairly, Mkhize said.