Vaccine sceptic senator Gerard Rennick has secured a change to the jab injury compensation scheme
Vaccine sceptic senator Gerard Rennick has secured a change to the jab injury compensation scheme.
The threshold for access to the scheme will be reduced from $5,000 to $1,000.
This will mean more people can claim for lost earnings and care costs for injuries caused by the Covid-19 vaccine.
Anyone claiming compensation must have suffered a recognised adverse event as a direct result of a Covid jab.
LNP Senator Rennick secured the change after threatening to withdraw support for the Government.
On Monday the unvaccinated senator voted with One Nation and four other Coalition rebels in favour of a bill banning vaccine mandates which was defeated.
But he vowed to continue withdrawing support from the Government if his concerns were not addressed.
In a statement, Health Minister Greg Hunt said he had been considering the change to the compensation scheme ‘for a number of weeks now’.
But Senator Rennick said the announcement comes after crunch talks between him and Mr Hunt and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
In exchange for the reduced threshold, Senator Rennick will support the Government on procedural motions in the senate but may still abstain on important bills.
He announced his shock move to withdraw his support earlier this month, writing on his Facebook page: ‘Vaccine mandates need to be lifted immediately. They should never have been implemented but they are going to cause so many issues including labour shortages, endless legal lawsuits, loss of livelihoods, discrimination.’
He also complained about rules which prevent the unvaccinated from participating in society because they pose an increased health risk.
‘Since when was the threat of losing your job, unable to enter stores, go to the gym or cross borders, voluntarily. It’s this kind of double speak that is undermines trust in government,’ he wrote.
Senator Rennick said he wanted immediate compensation payments for people who suffer side effects; easier exemptions for patients who have side effects after one shot; an end to vaccine mandates; no vaccinating of children and an immediate opening of state borders.
Cienna Knowles (pictured), 19, suffered from blood clotting hours after her second Pfizer jab but doctors said the cause was the contraceptive pill
The 50-year-old, who worked in finance before becoming a LNP senator in 2019, has been sharing stories from people who claim to have serious side effects after taking the vaccine, including 19-year-old Cienna Knowles.
Ms Knowles, a keen horse rider, suffered clots in her lungs, stomach and legs a day after getting her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Doctors diagnosed her with portal vein thrombosis (PVT), which is not a listed side effect of the Pfizer jab, and believe she had a reaction to the contraceptive pill.
But Ms Knowles and her family argue she’s a ‘one in a million’ case of blood clotting – one of several such anti-vaccine stories which Senator Rennick has shared, and which have attracted the attention of the anti-vax brigade.
Senator Rennick has built up a following among anti-vaxxers who lauded a recent Sky News interview in which he demanded ‘immediate income support’ for anyone suffering vaccine side effects.
Under an indemnity scheme announced in August, Aussies who suffer severe side effects can claim up to $20,000 in compensation – but only if the costs of their injuries exceeds $5,000, now down to $1,000.
Senator Rennick said the threshold should be removed and wanted the cash given to people faster.
‘Payments from the scheme won’t be made until next year. People who cannot work because of their injury from the vaccine need the money now to make ends meet,’ he wrote on Facebook.