World Health Organization (WHO) has approved a compensation plan for claims of adverse side effects in individuals in 92 poorer countries due to Coronavirus vaccines under COVAX, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines led by GAVI.
The development comes after the countries expressed concerns over lack of clarity from the WHO where the handling of compensation claims in the event of any serious COVID-19 vaccines side effects was concerned.
According to the official statement, the WHO-mandated compensation plan is the first and only mechanism in the world that offers people experiencing adverse side effects of Coronavirus vaccines a fair and transparent process to claim compensation.
Under the plan, claimants will be provided a no-fault lump-sum compensation in a full and final settlement, considerably reducing the need for legal action which requires significant financial resources and time.
The plan will cover claims of serious side effects linked to any Coronavirus vaccines distributed to COVAX’s Advance Market Commitment (AMC) eligible economies, a group of 92 countries which includes most African and Southeast Asian countries, until 30 June 2022.
WHO has planned to finance the program initially from donor funding to the AMC as an extra charge on all doses of COVID-19 vaccines distributed through COVAX.
Seth Berkley, CEO of GAVI which leads COVAX, has said that the WHO’s compensation plan will benefit lower-income countries and will prove as a massive boost for COVAX which is striving to ensure equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Compensation claims can be submitted from 31 March 2021 on WHO’s portal at www.covaxclaims.com