The Federal government has set aside $77m to compensate people injured by Covid-19 vaccines, this week's budget papers reveal.
The figure, representing an 80-fold increase in payments to people hurt by the vaccine, was buried in the Services Australia portfolio budget statement, in a table detailing third-party payments from the agency “on behalf of other entities”.
Services Australia administers the vaccine injury claims scheme for the Health Department.
According to the table, the scheme paid out $937,000 in 2021-22 - which would equate to about 47 people if they each received the maximum tier-one payment of $20,000.
That amount is estimated to blow out to $76.9 million in 2022-2023, equating to 3845 tier-one claims.
The compensation scheme is scheduled to end on April 17, 2024.
It allows Australians to claim for medical costs, lost wages, or other expenses if they suffered an adverse reaction to a Covid vaccine.
Legal experts have said the compensation scheme was difficult to access. Claimants needed to provide signed evidence from a medical professional that a reaction was linked to the vaccine, and only a small number of side effects were covered.
It has been reported that less than 2 per cent of Australians who applied for compensation had been successful.