Clarifications of Misconceptions Regarding Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in Taiwan

DOI: 10.6525/TEB.202011_36(21).0001

Yung-Ching Lin1, 2 *

2020 Vol.36 NO.21

Correspondence Author: Yung-Ching Lin1, 2 *

  • 1Division of Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 2Master of Laws Program for Executives, National Chengchi University, Taiwan 


        The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in Taiwan has been in operation for more than 30 years since 1988. However, healthcare professionals and first-line public health personnel have limited knowledge regarding definitions of adverse events, adverse reactions and side effects, as well as the application criteria and procedure.
        Adverse events following immunization are any untoward medical occurrence after immunization, regardless of a causal relationship with the usage of the vaccine. The purpose of surveillance of these events is to evaluate vaccine safety continuously. On the other hand, the purposes of VICP are to provide timely compensation for vaccination-related injured individuals based on reviews by expert committee, to reduce pressure on healthcare professionals while performing immunization, and to allocate the responsibility of non-fault compensation to the government.
        Eligible claimants of VICP are alleged victims suffered from injuries related to vaccination or maternal immunization, or legal heirs of the deceased victim. The scope of vaccination covers qualified vaccines by testing or document review, with official permit or special approval for importation. Conditions such as self-paid vaccination, off-label use, injuries incurred by others’ negligence, having received compensation for the same basis and fact, and post-exposure prophylaxis vaccination do not influence the eligibility of VICP application. Situations of declined compensation include injuries unrelated to vaccination, common, mild and expected adverse reactions, injuries due to conversion disorder or other psychological factors, and injuries related to use of vaccines not for immunization purpose.
        Cooperation and implementation by healthcare professional and first-line public health personnel are essential to fulfill the purposes of VICP. Sustaining communication and promotion by the central competent authorities are needed to maximize the effects of the program.