Mr. Speaker, the vaccine injury support program, VISP, provides financial support to people in Canada in the rare event that they experience a serious and permanent injury as a result of receiving a Health Canada-authorized vaccine administered in Canada on or after December 8, 2020. The program also provides death benefits and support for funeral expenses in the rare case of a death as a result of receiving a Health Canada-authorized vaccine.
The VISP was launched on June 1, 2021, and is being administered independently by Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Consulting Inc., RCGT, with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, PHAC. PHAC is not involved in individual cases, including in the determination of decisions regarding causality or compensation.
As the independent third party administrator, RCGT oversees all aspects of claims intake and assessment and is responsible for providing periodic public reporting on program statistics. Public reporting from the launch of the program on June 1, 2021, to June 1, 2022, can be found at https://vaccineinjurysupport.ca/en/program-statistics.
The Province of Quebec continues to administer its long-standing vaccine injury compensation program with federal funding. Information on Quebec’s vaccine injury compensation program, including program statistics, can be found at https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/advice-and-prevention/vaccination/vaccine-injury-compensation-program.
In response to (a), (b) and (c), PHAC does not have access to real-time data on the number of claims submitted to the VISP or the nature of the claims submitted. Furthermore, as per the terms and conditions of the funding agreement with RCGT, PHAC will never receive disaggregated data on vaccine type, or details on the nature of injuries from RCGT.
Health Canada, HC, PHAC, the provinces and territories, and manufacturers continue to closely monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, using the Canadian adverse events after immunization surveillance system, CAEFISS, and the Canada vigilance program.
An adverse event is any untoward medical occurrence that follows immunization. It is not necessarily causally related to the usage of the vaccine. Data on adverse events following COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada, overall and by type of vaccine and type of adverse event, is posted online on PHAC’s vaccine safety report website: https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/vaccine-safety. All reports of adverse events following immunization received by HC and PHAC are included in this report, regardless of whether they have been linked to the vaccines. PHAC looks at all the data available in order to detect any early signals of an issue.
For example, as of May 13, 2022, a total of 84,559,822 vaccine doses have been administered in Canada, and adverse events, side effects, have been reported by 46,149 people. That is about five people out of every 10,000 people vaccinated who have reported one or more adverse events. Of the 46,149 individual reports, 36,634 were considered non-serious, 0.043% of all doses administered, and 9,515 were considered serious, 0.011% of all doses administered.
It is important to note that although adverse events may occur after vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine, they are not necessarily related to the vaccine. In addition, it is important to note that the number of reported adverse events received by HC and PHAC following immunization is not reflective of the number of applications received by the VISP. The VISP is an application-based program for serious and permanent vaccine injuries.
In response to (d), as of RCGT’s last public report on June 1, 2022, RCGT had received 774 claims: 26 claims had been assessed by a medical review board and eight had been deemed eligible for compensation; 71 claims were deemed inadmissible as they did not meet the eligibility criteria or were missing information; 654 claims have been deemed to meet the basic eligibility criteria and are proceeding to a preliminary medical review. Further information with regard to program statistics can be found at the following link: https://vaccineinjurysupport.ca/en/program-statistics.
In response to (e) and (f), as of their last report on June 1, 2022, eight claims had been deemed eligible for compensation. Due to privacy reasons, the specific figures, including the total compensation, cannot be disclosed. This approach ensures anonymity of the claimants.
The amount of compensation an eligible individual will receive is determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature of the injury. Eligible individuals may receive income replacement indemnities, injury indemnities, death benefits, coverage for funeral expenses, and reimbursement of eligible costs such as otherwise uncovered medical expenses. Given the different types of supports available, the average dollar value of successful claims would not represent the amount an eligible claimant may receive through the VISP.