Mboweni expected to detail COVID-19 vaccine compensation plan in Budget speech

During his budget speech on Wednesday afternoon, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is expected to detail govt plans to compensate those who suffer adverse reaction to COVID-19 vaccination.

FILE: A vaccinator recording the details of a vaccine set to be given to a healthcare worker at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria on 17 February 2021. Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN – Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is, on Wednesday, expected to give details of how the government plans to compensate anyone who suffers an adverse effect from any vaccine that is officially approved for roll-out.

That’s according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. He told Parliament on Tuesday that vaccine manufacturers wanted the government to indemnify them in the case of adverse effects from their vaccines, and that this was standard practice around the world.

Mboweni is set to unveil the 2021 budget in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon – with much of it expected to focus on financing the government’s efforts to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Mkhize said the national Health Department and Treasury have finalised a proposal for a way of compensating people who suffer adverse effects from being inoculated against COVID-19 with approved vaccines.

“In principle, this proposed mechanism would provide for recourse for any adverse effect suffered from any vaccine that has been approved for rollout by Sahpra [the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority]. The minister of Finance will make the announcements in his Budget speech and expand on this mechanism.”

Mkhize said that some pharmaceutical companies wanted the government to set up a no-fault compensation fund.
He said that such conditions for indemnity imposed by vaccine manufacturers were not unusual and did not only apply to South Africa.

“Having consulted a number of other countries, it has become clear that these conditions are standard across the globe.”

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