Published: 01 August 2019
Vaccine injury redress programmes. An evidence review
The aim of this review of vaccine injury redress programmes in 11 jurisdictions was to investigate the association between design features of the programmes and operating costs, timely access to compensation, number of applicants, and the volume and costs of awards. The databases MEDLINE, CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, HeinOnline, and LegalTrac were searched, and we identified 33 papers for inclusion. We developed a conceptual schema based on key design features of vaccine injury redress programmes to code our data and we used the constant comparative method of analysis. We used an integrative review approach in order to synthesise the theoretical and empirical data we identified.
Our findings suggest that vaccine injury compensation programmes have been implemented to protect the supply of vaccines, to improve vaccine confidence, and to encourage high rates of vaccination among the general population. A secondary objective of the programmes was to provide timely access to compensation in the event of injury from a vaccine. Programmes that have removed the need to prove negligence and that have applied a low standard of proof provide timely access to compensation. These schemes also reduce administrative, legal, and overhead costs and improve relations between claimants and medical professionals. Programmes that applied a higher standard of proof and require cumbersome claim handling and adjudication processes delay timely access to compensation and reduce the number of awards.