Vaccine injuries

NPE processes compensation claims for side effects (adverse reactions) following vaccination.

Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Print Bokmål | Nynorsk | 9. October 2019

About vaccination

Vaccination is a preventive treatment to combat infectious diseases. Most vaccines are administered in accordance with recommendations issued by the health authorities, but there are also many vaccines which you can have voluntarily, e.g. in connection with travel.

Vaccines usually produce a few side effects. If they do occur, they are often modest and transient in nature. In rare cases, more serious injuries caused by side effects can occur which trigger entitlement to compensation.

Compensation following vaccination injuries

As regards vaccinations generally, the general rule is that you will be entitled to compensation if the vaccine probably caused an injury.

This is a rule that gives you the right to compensation regardless of whether there is anything wrong with the vaccine or whether there has been any failure in the administration of the vaccination.

To determine whether a vaccine has caused an injury, we use specialists within the field of vaccination, neurology, infectious diseases and internal medicine.

In these cases, the same requirements for a link between the injury and the treatment apply as in other patient injury cases.

Examples of vaccines which are considered according to this rule are vaccines which you have voluntarily. This could be vaccines in connection with business or holiday travel, vaccines against sheep ticks and rabies, etc.

Vaccines included in the national vaccination programme

The authorities want the population to be vaccinated in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The government has therefore drawn up a national vaccination programme, for which it is responsible.

Vaccines included in this programme are what are known as ‘recommended vaccines’ in accordance with the Patient Injury Act. This currently includes:

  • child vaccinations
  • vaccination against seasonal influenza for specific risk groups
  • immunisations against pandemic influenza.

For these vaccines, there are specific causal and evidential rules regarding the processing of compensation claims. You will be entitled to compensation when the vaccine could have been the cause of your injury, and there are no other more likely causes.

Examples of this are vaccine against diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, rubella, cervical cancer (HPV vaccine), seasonal influenza for special risk groups, and swine flu (pandemic vaccine).

You can read more about the national vaccination programme and vaccines on the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s website.