Italy: Compensation Fund for Corona Vaccination Side Effects

DThe Italian government has decided to set up a compensation fund for victims of the side effects of the corona vaccination. According to this, 50 million euros will initially be made available for people who have suffered “permanent impairment of their physical and mental integrity” due to the corona vaccination. The step is considered a political success for the right-wing national Lega of former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. Although Salvini has been vaccinated himself, he has on various occasions shown sympathy for vaccine skeptics among supporters of his party.

Matthias Rüb

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta based in Rome.

There is a wide range of opinions in Italy about the extent of serious, even fatal, side effects of the Covid 19 vaccination. While the government and its scientific and technical advisory board and most media assume extremely rare incidents, vaccination skeptics on relevant social media channels are reporting allegedly numerous sudden illnesses and deaths in connection with the vaccination against the corona virus.

Draghi for compulsory vaccination

The non-party Prime Minister Mario Draghi has now apparently given in to pressure from the Lega to set up the compensation fund, which has been exerted for weeks, so as not to endanger his broad coalition of parties from the left to the center to the right. The measure is part of the decree passed by the cabinet on Friday, which, in addition to further state aid for ailing sectors of the economy, provides for additional restrictions in everyday life. The funds of 50 million euros that have now been approved will flow into a fund set up in 1992 for victims of side effects from state-ordered or recommended immunizations, such as the ten compulsory vaccinations for all kindergarten and school children in the country.

According to a ruling by the Constitutional Court, the right to state compensation in the event of adverse effects of vaccination exists not only if the person was required by law to have the immunization in question, but also if the vaccination was carried out on the basis of a recommendation from state institutions. This means that people who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus since the start of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign last March can also claim damages from the state for possible side effects. Beginning in April 2021, the government in Rome successively introduced compulsory vaccination for health, education and security systems. Since the turn of the year, vaccination against the coronavirus has been compulsory for everyone over the age of 50. Draghi has long supported calls for compulsory vaccination for all adults, but the Lega opposes it.

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