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article imagePublic Health Official: No-Fault Compensation for Swine Vaccine

By Andrew Moran     Jul 21, 2009 in Health
Top Canadian public health officials are calling for no-fault compensation, which would be given to Canadians who suffer side-effects from swine flu vaccinations.
A leading Canadian public health official says Canada needs to create a no-fault compensation plan to encourage Canadians to take the H1N1 swine flu vaccination, which will be available in three to four months. The official is calling for such a measure because Canadians maybe harmed by the vaccine, which was similar to the previous swine flu vaccine, which caused paralyzed conditions.
The Canada research chair in public health at the University of Ottawa Kumanan Wilson said that the public will receive an incompletely vaccine, which will not receive the standard testing by the World Health Organization and that a compensation plan will encourage Canadians to take the flu shot.
Canada research chair in public health at the University of Ottawa David Butler-Jones said, “The more people that have immunity, the easier it is to stop.”
According to CanWest News Service, who has conducted the interviews with the two health officials, states that Canada has no plans to compensate people, unlike the United States, which is false. An article posted on Digital Journal titled: Vaccine Makers Receive Immunity, vaccine developers will receive immunity, therefore, any company like Baxter cannot be held liable.
Officials who are calling for a vaccine injury program, believe that people who develop side-effects would receive faster compensation rather than going through the Canadian justice system. Currently, only Quebec has a no-fault compensation in Canada.
An expert in pandemic planning told CanWest Service, “I’m not saying we shouldn’t roll out this vaccine (against H1N1 influenza). I don’t know how confident we will be in its efficacy and safety at the outset, but I don’t think we’ll have any choice but to roll it out, because, at this point, the only way to control the spread is going to be a vaccine. But there are going to be concerns about people not wanting to take the vaccine, health-care workers in particular. We have been arguing that it needs to be complemented with a no-fault compensation program, just like in 1976, and we need to develop systems to pick up these adverse events.”
During the swine flu scare in 1976, thousands of people developed Guillain-Barre syndrome and 26 people died.
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