Mr. Speaker, the pan-Canadian 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 Public Health Agency of Canada, PHAC, funding. 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 began on December 1, 2021, and data on the VISP is updated twice a year. Latest public reporting can be found at: https://vaccineinjurysupport.ca/en/program-statistics.
The Province of Québec continues to administer its long-standing vaccine injury compensation program, VICP. Information on Québec’s VICP, including program statistics, can be found at: https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/advice-and-prevention/vaccination/vaccine-injury-compensation-program#c3895.
With regard to part (a), as of RCGT’s last public report on December 1, 2022, RCGT had received 1,299 claims; 221 claims had been assessed by a medical review board and 50 had been deemed eligible for compensation; and 171 of the claims assessed by the medical board were deemed ineligible for compensation and 209 claims did not meet the eligibility criteria. Further information with regard to program statistics can be found at the following link: https://vaccineinjurysupport.ca/en/program-statistics.
The Province of Quebec updates its program statistics annually. As of March 31, 2022, Quebec’s VICP had received 410 claims; 199 claims were assessed by a medical committee and 56 had been deemed eligible for compensation; and 143 of the claims assessed by a medical committee were not deemed eligible for compensation and 45 claims received were not pursued. Further information with regard to program statistics can be found at the following link: https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/advice-and-prevention/vaccination/vaccine-injury-compensation-program.
With regard to part (b), from June 1, 2021, until December 1, 2022, a total of $2,779,277 in compensation has been approved or paid by RCGT.
From the inception of the program in 1988 until March 31, 2022, Quebec’s VICP has paid a total of $7,853,000 in compensation.
With regard to part (c), 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, including 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 or VICP.
With regard to part (d), serious and permanent injury is defined as a severe, life-threatening or life-altering injury that may require in-person hospitalization or a prolongation of existing hospitalization, and results in persistent or significant disability or incapacity, or where the outcome is a congenital malformation or death. In compliance with privacy laws and policies, PHAC only collects information relevant to program administration. As per the terms and conditions of the funding agreements with RCGT and the Province of Quebec, PHAC will never receive disaggregated data on details on the nature of injuries for which claims are being submitted or approved from RCGT and Quebec.