Since the opening of Canada's Vaccine Injury Support Program in 2021, claimants have been approved or paid out more than $2.7 million, as per the new statistics.
Health Canada has approved 50 claims of serious and permanent injuries related to a specific vaccine.
From June 2021 to December 1, 2022, the program received a total of 1,299 claims. Out of these, 209 claims were found inadmissible because they did not meet the eligibility criteria or had incomplete information.
According to the Vaccine Injury Support Program (VISP), out of all the claims, 221 have been fully assessed by the program's medical review board. Meanwhile, 48 claims are still pending medical review board assessment, and 662 claims are currently in the process of collecting medical records, which is known to be the longest step in the assessment process.
In the past, the VISP shared statistics during the summer, but now they have given the exact amount of financial aid supplied to beneficiaries till date. The scheme was introduced in December 2020 and began receiving claims in June 2021.
In order to qualify for compensation, you must have experienced a significant and long-term injury related to a vaccine that was authorized by Health Canada, and which was given in Canada after December 8, 2020. The compensation program covers all vaccines that offer protection against preventable illnesses, which includes vaccines for COVID-19 among other diseases.
It is not clear what amount of compensation was given to each individual whose claim was approved, or which vaccine caused their injury. A severe or permanent injury is described as an injury that is life-threatening or life-altering, may require hospitalization or prolongation of hospitalization, and results in a significant or persistent disability or incapacity, or can lead to congenital malformation or death.
According to data from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), serious reactions to vaccines are rare. For example, only one in 10,000 people have experienced a serious reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine.
According to PHAC, there have been 52,203 reported adverse events after COVID-19 vaccination in Canada since the vaccine rollout began. This represents 0.056% of all doses administered and includes various types of adverse reactions ranging from temporary rashes to fatigue, pain at the vaccination site, and headaches.
Out of all the doses administered, 0.011% of them were considered serious adverse events, which accounts for approximately 10,300 cases.
As of November 2022, Canada has administered over 93 million doses. If someone wants to receive compensation through VISP, they must first read the eligibility requirements to see if their grievance is covered. Then, with the help of a physician, they can submit an application that could take between 12 to 18 months to be processed. A doctor from VISP will review your application and may request additional medical records. After that, a panel of doctors will decide whether the vaccine caused the specified injury and whether the injury is severe and permanent enough to qualify for financial support. If your claim is approved, the panel will determine the amount of financial support you will receive.
The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VISP) is applicable for residents of all provinces and territories in Canada, except for Quebec. Quebec has its own program for compensation known as Quebec Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
The VISP has announced that their next public release of statistics will include data up to June 1, 2023.