ROME (Reuters) – Italy plans to set aside 150 million euros ($169.91 million) to compensate those suffering side effects from COVID-19 vaccinations, a draft decree seen by Reuters showed on Friday.
The government plans will allocate 50 million euros in 2022 and an additional 100 million in 2023 to those permanently disabled by the coronavirus vaccination recommended by the Italian health authority.
In an October 2021 document, Italy’s drug agency AIFA reported 101,110 complaints of side-effects out of more than 84 million doses administered. Some 85% of those were considered to be non-serious side-effects.
Some 14.4% – just over 14,000 – were considered serious, meaning it resulted in hospitalisation, emergency room treatment, immediate danger to life, or disability – even if the person then made a complete recovery. Compensation is limited to those with permanent damage.
Under a law passed in 1992 Italy guarantees compensation for those harmed by compulsory vaccines, and the draft decree extends its terms to cover recommended and not just mandatory vaccinations.
To date, Rome has made the COVID vaccine compulsory for everyone over 50, and for all workers in sectors such as health and education.
More than 90% of Italians over the age of 12 have been vaccinated, according to health ministry data.
Italian law offers two channels for those suffering damage from vaccinations. The first is this state compensation fund: an administrative fast-track, normally modest compensation under a framework known as “collective solidarity.”
The second, for potentially larger claims, is known as “reparation of damages”, and begins with a civil or criminal judicial procedure.
($1 = 0.8828 euros)
(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte and Emilio Parodi; Editing by Gavin Jones and Alison Williams)