Act stipulates provision of compensation for vaccine-related death or injury

Kathmandu, January 28

The Immunization Act, 2015 recently endorsed by the Legislature-Parliament and authenticated by President Bidhya Bhandari yesterday stipulates a provision of compensation to the next of kin of a person who is incapacitated or dies soon after being vaccinated due to adverse effects of immunisation.

“If a seven-member investigation committee, comprising senior paediatricians, public health experts and pathologist, formed by the government to probe into the case confirms the incapacitation or death of a person due to vaccination, the concerned entity or organisation running the immunisation campaign will be required to provide reasonable compensation to the incapacitated person or next of kin of the deceased,” reads Section 28 of the Act. The criteria for compensation will be as prescribed.

Similarly, the Act prohibits conduct of immunisation services without obtaining license from the government. Those running such campaigns without permission will be liable to a fine of up to Rs 500,000, along with the closure of the campaign. “No one will be allowed to supply unregistered vaccine and distribute vaccine in contravention of the prescribed standard.

If any person or organisation is found guilty of doing so, the government will impose a fine of up to Rs 100,000 with confiscation and destruction of the vaccines,” it says. The Act has also guarantees the citizens’ right to free vaccination in the immunisation campaign run for target groups.

“If a person is not allowed to be vaccinated under the grounds of his/her health condition, the concerned authority or campaigners should not vaccinate him/her. Similarly, vaccines and equipment to be used in immunisation are required to maintain temperature while being transported, stored and distributed,” states the Act.

The law has also provisioned a seven-member National Immunisation Committee led by secretary at the health ministry to make policies relating to immunisation programme.