10,000 Australians want compensation for Covid-19 vaccine side effects: Media

Compensation starts from A$5,000, meaning the programme would cost at least A$50 million should each claim be approved. PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) - Australia's government may face a more than A$50 million (S$49.7 million) bill related to its Covid-19 vaccination programme, as thousands of people register for compensation for health issues related to their inoculations, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

More than 10,000 people have registered for a government programme to be compensated for lost income after being hospitalised for rare but significant side effects from the jab, the newspaper reported, citing official data.

Compensation starts from A$5,000, meaning the programme would cost at least A$50 million should each claim be approved.

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has received almost 79,000 reports of adverse side effects from 36.8 million doses of vaccine, according to its website.

The most frequent reported side effects include a sore arm, headache, fever and chills.

The TGA has received 288 reports assessed as likely to be heart inflammation linked to the Pfizer vaccine, as well as 160 of rare clotting disorder thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Nine deaths have been linked to the immunisation programme, the overwhelming majority of whom were aged 65 years and older, according to the TGA.

Following an early setback, Australia ramped up its vaccination push in the second half of the year as the Delta variant plunged its two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, into a months-long lockdown.

Restrictions have gradually eased in recent weeks as inoculation rates have surged. New South Wales, the country's most populous state, on Tuesday reported 212 Covid-19 cases, while Victoria recorded 797.

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