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Indemnity Fund for Adverse Events Following Immunization with COVID-19 Vaccines
     ​The Government has set up the Indemnity Fund for Adverse Events Following Immunization with Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) Vaccines (AEFI Fund) to provide financial support to eligible individuals who have suffered unexpected serious adverse events (SAEs) associated with a COVID-19 vaccine.
     As at June 10, 2021, 74 applications for the AEFI Fund were received. Overview and examination progress of the applications are set out in the Annex and on the webpage (www.covidvaccine.gov.hk/en/AEFI_Fund). Information on the webpage will be updated regularly on a monthly basis. Applications for the AEFI Fund are examined according to the severity assessment scheme after taking into account considerations including whether long term bodily harm has been made by the SAE. So far, all cases gone through severity assessment (no matter whether payout is approved) do not involve long term or permanent damage.
     According to terms and conditions of the AEFI Fund set out in the paper submitted by the Government to the Legislative Council Finance Committee in February 2021, if an SAE is certified by a Registered Medical Practitioner and the Expert Committee on Clinical Events Assessment Following COVID-19 Immunisation (Expert Committee) has concluded its causal relationship with the vaccination, the Administrator will conduct the severity assessment and propose an appropriate level of payout based on the conclusion of causal relationship, the information provided by the relevant medical institutions and the severity assessment scheme (Note 1 and 2). The proposal will then be submitted to the Food and Health Bureau (FHB) for review and approval.
     As stated in the terms and conditions of the AEFI Fund, the principles of severity assessment include fairness to applicant, prudent use of public funding, transparency to public, and based on medical science. Severity of individual cases is subject to case-by-case assessment according to their circumstances. Decision and payout of the AEFI Fund are made by the FHB. The Administrator is responsible for administrative services for the AEFI Fund (such as processing applications, providing professional advice on case assessment and handling related enquires and complaint, etc.) in accordance with the service contract. The Administrator only receives a fixed amount of administrative fee. It is not involved in the compensation payout funding, and it is not providing any insurance service to the Government. The Administrator will not directly manage or issue payout of the AEFI Fund.
     Receiving payment from the AEFI Fund will not affect the right of the affected person in seeking legal recourse for damages or loss against the vaccine manufacturer. A claimant can still undertake civil action against any person responsible for bodily injury. However, a claimant cannot receive double indemnity. If a claimant receives compensation as adjudged in court, the amount he or she has previously received from the AEFI Fund will be offset from the court's award.
     For details of the AEFI Fund and information needed for submitting an application, please visit the aforementioned webpage or call the service hotline on 2894 4699 (service hours: 9am to 5.30pm from Monday to Friday (except public holidays)).
     Note 1: Severity assessment scheme is outlined in Part 8 of Terms and Conditions for the AEFI Fund (hk-axa-web-2020.cdn.axa-contento-118412.eu/hk-axa-web-2020/ad8cfda8-847c-4177-bc39-457dfb0765bd_AEFI_Fund_20210603_AEFI+Fund+terms+and+conditions+_Eng.pdf).
     Note 2: If the case does not meet the threshold of the severity assessment scheme, no vaccination record of the applicant is found under the Government's COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, the applicant fails to provide relevant supporting document(s), or the SAE is confirmed to be unrelated to the vaccination in the assessment outcome by the Expert Committee, the application will be rejected.
Ends/Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Issued at HKT 21:20
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