Jamaica Has No Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Even As Adverse Events Rise
As the Jamaican government requires vaccinations for students 12 and over in order to resume face-to-face classes and more adults get inoculated amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases, 18º North has confirmed that the country doesn’t have a compensation program should someone get injured from the vaccine.
The confirmation comes as the overseer of the vaccination program for the Ministry of Health & Wellness Dr. Melody Ennis told 18º North that, as of August 24, there were 303 notifications of adverse events related to the vaccine up from 249 at the time of her last report on July 29. Dr. Ennis said that she didn’t have the breakdown of serious events and deaths, but that 290 were related to the AstraZeneca brand rolled out in the country in March, and 13 were from the Pfizer, which was added to the vaccine mix this month.
The lack of a compensation program means that, unlike countries, including the U.S. and 92 others facilitated by the World Health Organization (WHO), anyone seeking damages in Jamaica for an alleged vaccine injury will have to sue the government in court, according to the permanent secretary in the health ministry, Dunstan Bryan.
“We didn’t establish such a fund,” said Mr. Bryan when asked about the process for filing a claim. “It’s a normal process of how you file a claim against government.” He further clarified that that meant through lawsuits.
Video: In early public utterances, Permanent Secretary Dunstan Bryan said the government would compensate persons claiming vaccine damage once the ill-effect is deemed to have been caused by vaccination. However, he did not give details on the process until more recently to 18º North.