Government to introduce vaccine compensation programme in Ireland

The Irish government is planning to establish a compensation scheme for people who suffer injury after taking vaccines under State’s programmes. The programme will not be Covid-19 specific, but more of a general manner, the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said in response to a question in parliament.

A report by an expert group chaired by Mr Justice Charles Meenan had suggested early in December 2020 to introduce such a plan as a matter of urgency. Later many called for introducing vaccine compensation plan amid fears of possible side effects.

The Independent TD Catherine Connolly asked the Minister to give clarity on the same and the Minister said that Mr Justice Meenan’s report would be taken together alongside an evidence review carried out by the Health Research Board (HRB) on the vaccine injury redress programme in other jurisdictions. Opinions from other state departments and agencies will also be sought.

A senior medical negligence solicitor Mr Michael Boylan had earlier indicated the need for a compensation programme regarding vaccines and suggested that it would encourage more people to avail vaccines in the country. He is also representing 80 clients who have taken cases against the State after the 2009-10 flu vaccine programme gave them side effects.

Though the exact date of introduction of the plan can not be confirmed, it is a matter discussed with priority by the government, a government source revealed.

The US health authorities had reported that, the possibility of myocarditis (heart-related inflammation) after receiving an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is 1 in 16,000 for boys aged 12 to 17 years. Anyway, most of these cases are easily treatable.

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