Prague, Nov 27 (CTK) – The state will compensate the parents whose child dies or will have serious health troubles after the compulsory vaccination under the government bill that the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, passed today.
The MPs have modified the bill wording, replacing the expression “compensation for proprietary and non-proprietary loss” with “compensation for the vaccinated persons’ weakening social position and the costs of care for them, their health and households.” The compensation for the parents’ psychological harm remains unchanged in the draft.
The bill is now to be assessed by the Senate, the upper house, and then signed by President Milos Zeman into law.
Under the draft legislation, the Health Ministry would pay the compensation within six months since the application is delivered if the mistake was not made by the doctor administering the vaccine or the vaccine producer.
The bill does not set the maximum compensation level. It will be set in harmony with the Civil Code and the Health Ministry will specify details in its directive.
It expects the total annual level of the compensation for vaccination-related harm not to exceed 100 million crowns. The compensation will apply to fewer than ten cases a year, experts point out.
Health Minister Adam Vojtech (for ANO) said the compensation might soften the sharp position of vaccination opponents.
The application for compensation must be filed within three years of the health damage incurred. The damaged party can turn to court within four years if the ministry does not compensate the applicant within six months or approves a lower than required sum.
The Health Ministry says that an expert commission will deal with the compensation requests in complicated cases to assess whether the health damage was really caused by the obligatory vaccination.
Child vaccination against nine illnesses is compulsory in the Czech Republic, including a combined vaccine against measles, rubella and mumps. Along with optional vaccination, a million vaccine doses are annually administered.
The Health Ministry justifies the duty by the public health protection.
However, the number of parents who do not have their babies vaccinated as they consider vaccination dangerous has been rising in the country. Czech kindergartens do not accept children who are not vaccinated.