In a costly fallout from Covid-19 vaccinations, a whopping $4.37m in WorkCover claims have been lodged by frontline staff in Victoria.
The claims are linked to serious injuries, some leading to life-changing conditions, resulting from the vaccinations.
Recently released data from WorkSafe Victoria highlights that as many as 125 essential services workers have sustained serious injuries due to the Covid-19 vaccines.
This count includes individuals who were under the state's controversial "no jab, no work" mandate in 2021.
While the odds of adverse reactions to the vaccines are claimed to be low, the complications can be severe. Victoria's laws permit claims only for significant reactions, such as severe blood clots, allergic responses, seizures, or strokes, directly traceable to a workplace-requested Covid vaccine.
More than 40 cases remain open in the WorkCover system, with ongoing payments potentially reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many claimants were reportedly in good health prior to vaccination.
Despite the stigma around vaccine injuries, some affected individuals have gone public with their experiences.
One such case is Gareth O’Grady, a 41-year-old Melbourne teacher, who developed pericarditis after receiving the Pfizer vaccine. His condition necessitated 90 days in hospital and open heart surgery. He has not resumed work since then.
Another case involves a female health worker who continues to suffer after being instructed to have a booster, despite a cardiologist's exemption. Both individuals have joined a class action suit by NR Barbi Solicitor against the Therapeutic Goods Administration, alleging negligence in approving several vaccine brands during the pandemic.
Dr Melissa McCann, who is crowd-funding for the class action, stated that the real extent of vaccine injuries remains unknown in Australia. Meanwhile, Natalie Strijland, the instructing solicitor for the class action, encouraged those suffering from vaccine injuries to join the legal proceedings.
As these cases surge, thousands of Australians continue to fight for compensation through the federal government's Covid-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme.
A government spokesperson highlighted the 65 million doses administered in Australia and the role vaccinations play in reducing severe outcomes of Covid-19. They urged everyone due for their next dose to get it as promptly as possible.