As we’re just ten days away from the deployment of COVID19 vaccination program, I call upon the government to provide financial coverage to the people on any resulted injuries caused by vaccination.
While Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s announcement of National COVID Immunisation Plan is timely, it is lack of concrete protection for the people coming forward to receive the vaccination.
Many countries announced different packages to alleviate the risks associated with vaccination to encourage as many people as possible to take the COVID19 vaccine. For instance, Singapore announced Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (FIFAP): SGD10,000 (about RM30,500) for those who suffer serious side effects from getting their COVID19 vaccines in Singapore. A one-off payment of SGD225,000 (about RM680,000) will be made if a person dies or suffers severe permanent disability. In United Kingdom, the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme provides coverage of up to £120,000 (about RM670,000) if the inoculated person is severely disabled as a result of vaccination.
Of course, the risk is extremely low, as evidenced in the vaccination roll-out in other countries. Nevertheless, government’s commitment on the financial coverage is meant to provide a greater peace of mind for those taking the vaccination, as well as to demonstrate that government is shouldering the risk beyond merely paying lip service.
On the other hand, I also urge the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM), General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) and Malaysia Takafaul Association (MTA) to extend the coverage to COVID19 vaccination complications that result in hospitalization.
All seven insurance operators in Singapore have announced earlier on Jan 25 that they will Covid-19 vaccine complications that lead to hospitalization till Dec 31, 2021. Malaysians, too, expect private industry players to show proactive commitment with the nation.
YB Lee Chean Chung
Treasurer General KEADILAN
State Assemblyman of Semambu