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ICA welcomes vaccine indemnity announcement

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The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of a professional indemnity scheme for healthcare practitioners administering COVID-19 vaccines.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week said the Commonwealth will establish the scheme to provide “additional certainty”.

“The scheme covers COVID-19 vaccines approved by the TGA and approved for use in the vaccine program,” he said.

In a statement that initially attracted some political controversy, he said GPs can administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to Australians under 60 years of age with informed consent “and that this measure will provide confidence to medical practitioners to administer both AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines to Australians”.

ICA says the COVID-19 mass vaccination program is “a large and complex undertaking” in a rapidly evolving environment.

“ICA has been working with its members in the healthcare indemnity sector, government and other stakeholders to ensure that risks for professionals involved in the administration of the vaccine are identified and addressed,” a spokeswoman told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“Insurers had been concerned that those involved in administering and distributing the vaccine and managing any reactions would have been exposed to an increase in claims given the subjective nature of judgments that doctors and other staff have to make.”