• Kenya will pay for the scheme through a small levy charged on all doses of Covid-19 vaccines it receives.
• The vaccines are safe, but, as with all medicines, even vaccines that are approved for general use may, in rare cases, cause serious adverse reactions.
Kenyans who experience serious side effects of Covid-19 vaccines can file for compensation from March 31.
Although the vaccines are proven to be extremely safe, a compensation mechanism for any serious side effect is important to instil confidence, experts say.
The World Health Organization on Tuesday said it has signed up an insurer for Kenya and other low-income countries that will receive the vaccines through its Covax facility.
Kenya will pay for premiums through a small levy charged on all doses of vaccines received. The scheme allows vaccine users to receive compensation in case of rare but serious adverse effects without making them prove that the vaccine was the cause of the complication.
The compensation scheme will start on March 31, 2021, and run until June 30, 2022.
“By providing a no-fault lump-sum compensation in full and final settlement of any claims, the Covax programme aims to significantly reduce the need for recourse to the law courts, a potentially lengthy and costly process,” WHO said in a statement.
Compensation will be made by US-based risk management services provider ESIS Inc, a subsidiary of the giant Swiss insurer Chubb Ltd.
Head of the national vaccines taskforce Willis Akhwale said Kenya will now need to sign and send an indemnity agreement absolving the vaccine manufacturer of any liability.
“We have been having talks with the Ministry of Health, the Treasury and the Attorney General while engaging the manufacturer. We will submit the agreement so that our orders can be sent here,” he said at a webinar organised by the Kenya Medical Association.
He said once this is done, the country expects to receive its 4.1 million doses this week or early next week.
“There are indications, almost confirmation we will get vaccines by end of this month. Vaccinations will begin two weeks after arrival,” he said.
The indemnity agreement means the manufacturer is at no fault should something go wrong with the recipients, as long as it followed WHO standards while manufacturing the jab.
Kenyans who might be affected can log into www.covaxclaims.com for information on how to make a claim. The website will be up by end of March.
WHO reassured Kenyans all vaccines procured or distributed through the Covax facility receive regulatory approval or an emergency use authorisation to confirm their safety and efficacy.
But, as with all medicines, even vaccines that are approved for general use may, in rare cases, cause serious adverse reactions.
“This no-fault compensation mechanism helps to ensure that people in Advance Market Commitment -eligible countries and economies can benefit from the cutting-edge science that has delivered Covid-19 vaccines in record time,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general.
“WHO’s agreement with Chubb offers further protection and confidence in the life-saving power of vaccines.”
Edited by F'Orieny
European governments will pay claims above an agreed limit against AstraZeneca over side-effects from its potential COVID-19 vaccine, under different terms to a deal struck with Sanofi, an EU official told Reuters. Subscribe: http://smarturl.it/reuterssubscribe