New Zealand:

New Zealand maintains a no-fault system for accident compensation, including vaccine injuries, under the aegis of the previously-mentioned Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).

Although most information on claims appears to be classified, financial compensation totaling $1.6 million (NZD) was provided between 2005 and 2019.

The ACC also handles claims related to COVID-19 vaccination.


China’s vaccination program differentiates between mandatory and non-mandatory vaccinations, for the purposes of vaccine injury claims.

The 2019 Law on Vaccine Administration establishes a compensation system for deaths or significant injuries, such as organ or tissue damage, stemming from vaccines. Compensation is paid from the vaccination funds of the country’s provincial governments.

Draft legislation in 2020 called for mandatory liability insurance for vaccine manufacturers distributing vaccines in mainland China. However, it is unclear if this legislation was enacted.


Until recently, Japan did not have a specific no-fault compensation program for vaccine injuries. But temporary programs where the government would provide compensation to vaccine makers for legal claims they sustained due to vaccine injuries had previously been passed in 2009, for the H1N1 vaccine, and again in 2011 until 2016.

However, a 2020 amendment to Japan’s Immunization Act now allows the government to take on the liability risks for COVID-19 vaccines.


India has no specific no-fault legislation under the Drugs and Cosmetic Act for injuries stemming from vaccines that are fully licensed by the country’s regulator.

Claimants are, however, able to file claims in consumer courts or in India’s High Court, and the country’s drug regulator can also take action against vaccine manufacturers for violations of the law.

Indian law does provide for compensation in the event of injury or death following participation in clinical trials.

Notably, the Indian government’s negotiations with Pfizer fell through earlier this year when Indian regulators refused to provide it legal protection via indemnity.

Such protection was not provided to the three COVID-19 vaccines which received an emergency use authorization in India: Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V.

Adar Poonawalla, the head of the India-based Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, had previously called for protection from lawsuits for COVID vaccine injuries.

Malaysia and Singapore:

The country has not developed a no-fault vaccination program, unlike nearby Singapore.

Instead, a variety of legal remedies exist for claimants under civil law, including the Sales of Goods Act of 1957, the Consumer Protection Act of 1999, and the Contracts Act of 1950, and under criminal law, including the Poisons Act of 1952 and the Sale of Drugs Act of 1952.

South Africa:

South Africa is another country that did not develop a no-fault vaccine injury compensation fund until recently, but did so as a result of COVID and, apparently, pressure from vaccine manufacturers.

The fund is meant to provide compensation for “serious adverse responses” which lead to “permanent or significant injury, serious harm to a person’s health, other damage or death,” assuming these injuries were caused by vaccination.


Similar to South Africa, the Philippines only recently set up a no-fault indemnity program, shielding vaccine manufacturers, as well as public officials, from lawsuits, except in instances of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

This same program will also set up a state fund to provide compensation for vaccine injury claims.

Developing world:

Finally, for 92 low- and middle-income countries, the World Health Organization (WHO), along with a private company, Chubb Limited, has begun to administer a no-fault compensation program.

The countries in question are receiving COVID vaccines via the Gavi Alliance’s COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) program, with vaccine injury claims processed through the WHO’s new program, which is set to remain in effect until June 30, 2022.

No-fault schemes are increasing, but questions remain

With the recent examples of countries such as Canada and Australia, as well as South Africa and the Philippines, developing their own no-fault vaccine injury compensation funds, as well as their further extension to 92 low- and middle-income countries via the WHO, this type of compensation scheme is clearly the predominant method of dealing with financial claims stemming from vaccine injury claims.

As seen in the case of the U.S., such no-fault programs were developed to address claims of increased vaccine hesitancy, as a result of high-profile lawsuits against vaccine makers, and a decline in vaccine production from hesitant pharmaceutical companies which did not want to shoulder the legal and financial risks involved with releasing a new vaccine to the public.

What, however, goes unaddressed in such claims is the vaccine hesitancy, or outright refusals to get vaccinated, as people question why vaccine makers and, in many cases, everyone involved in distributing and administering vaccines, are shielded from legal action.

Such legal shields cast, for some people at least, a net of doubt, calling into question the safety of such vaccines if their manufacturers, distributors, and public health officials involved in their administration feel the need for legal protections. They may wonder why a product that is said to be safe requires such legal shields.

Such doubts further increase when governments and their agencies, which are essentially acting as guarantors of these vaccines through various no-fault schemes, redact critical information about these products, including their ingredients, and claims that releasing such documentation will take several decades, as the FDA did recently regarding its documents related to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine.

This is despite the fact that in the 2011 Bruesewitz v. Wyeth decision, the U.S. Supreme Court gave considerable latitude to the FDA for, essentially, knowing better than judges and juries, or state lawmakers, how to regulate vaccines.

Despite this legal shielding, plenty of coverage of adverse reactions, and even deaths, following vaccinations is making its way into the media, and to the public consciousness, seemingly negating yet another argument in favor of indemnity.

Furthermore, as many no-fault schemes place the burden on taxpayers and government coffers, these financial costs are ultimately borne by the public.

Arguments that claim shielding vaccine makers from lawsuits also helps to keep the cost of these products down can be called into question on such grounds, especially if the government is the one making deals with vaccine manufacturers and paying for these vaccines.

Costs may be reduced in their purchase price, but the same government and same funds are then used to settle vaccine injury claims.

Such claims from vaccine makers, such as Pfizer for instance, also appear to be disingenuous when considering their high marketing budgets, which in the U.S., far exceed their research and innovation expenditures.

Arguments can be made that such funding could be redirected towards legal claims, towards reducing vaccine and drug prices, or both.