[Accessed 23 May 2020]
Global landscape analysis of no-fault compensation programmes for vaccine injuries: A review and survey of implementing countries
Randy G. Mungwira, Christine Guillard, Adiela Saldaña, Nobuhiko Okabe, Helen Petousis-Harris, Edinam Agbenu, Lance Rodewald, Patrick L. F. Zuber
Research Article | published 21 May 2020 PLOS ONE
To update the landscape analysis of vaccine injuries no-fault compensation programmes, we conducted a scoping review and a survey of World Health Organization Member States. We describe the characteristics of existing no-fault compensation systems during 2018 based on six common programme elements. No-fault compensation systems for vaccine injuries have been developed in a few high-income countries for more than 50 years. Twenty-five jurisdictions were identified with no-fault compensation programmes, of which two were recently implemented in a low- and a lower-middle-income country. The no-fault compensation programmes in most jurisdictions are implemented at the central or federal government level and are government funded. Eligibility criteria for vaccine injury compensation vary considerably across the evaluated programmes. Notably, most programmes cover injuries arising from vaccines that are registered in the country and are recommended by authorities for routine use in children, pregnant women, adults (e.g. influenza vaccines) and for special indications. A claim process is initiated once the injured party or their legal representative files for compensation with a special administrative body in most programmes. All no-fault compensation programmes reviewed require standard of proof showing a causal association between vaccination and injury. Once a final decision has been reached, claimants are compensated with either: lump-sums; amounts calculated based on medical care costs and expenses, loss of earnings or earning capacity; or monetary compensation calculated based on pain and suffering, emotional distress, permanent impairment or loss of function; or combination of those. In most jurisdictions, vaccine injury claimants have the right to seek damages either through civil litigation or from a compensation scheme but not both simultaneously. Data from this report provide an empirical basis on which global guidance for implementing such schemes could be developed.