Israel Covid Vaccine NFCS
Israel had an existing no-fault compensation scheme for vaccines created 5 December 1989. Covid Vaccines were added to the list of vaccines eligible for compensation on 4 February 2021, and cover was extended to vaccines administered from 20 December 2020.
This scheme was created under national legislation. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Law 1989 (in Hebrew) and the Insurance Regulations for Vaccine Victims 1992 (in Hebrew)
The NFCS insurance comes from the Internal Government Insurance Fund, a self-insurance fund for the Israeli government. The Internal Government Insurance Fund is managed by Inbal Insurance Company Ltd, a government owned body who act as the State insurer.
The funding for the covid vaccine compensation comes from central government. Funding for the other vaccines administered by the scheme comes from a levy on each vaccine dose.
This NFCS covers nationally approved vaccines for a pre-specified list of diseases. Covid Vaccines were added on 4 February 2021 by Revisions 5555 into the 2018 , 2018 (No. 2 Addendum) Section 1
It includes vaccines approved for emergency use and standard approvals.
This NFCS only covers permanent injuries.
Under this NFCS any injury is potentially covered, but this NFCS will only recompense injuries which cause permanent disablement. Section 6 of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Law Act 1989 specifies how disability is to be assessed. ‘The degree of disability for the purposes of this law will be determined in accordance with the tests and principles established for determining the degree of disability according to section 61 of the National Insurance Law [combined version], 1968-5578.’
Charges for making a claim
There is nothing in the Act or the Regulations regarding a charge for making a claim under this scheme.
Although the law is silent on the procedures for claiming vaccine injury, in practice it is an adversarial process with legal representation from Inbal. In their 2021 article Kamin-Friedman & Davidovitch 2021 comment that the adversarial approach of this NFCS increases costs as it
‘…requires claimants to prove their claims through a confrontation, with the State essentially a counterparty. As a result, the injured parties feel the need to employ legal counsel and pay for medical opinion, which make the procedure more expensive. Cross-examination carried out by both parties prolong the legal procedure, which can then last as long as do tort litigations in court.’
Under this scheme the following categories of individuals are permitted to make a claim.
- Live vaccine recipient/their authorised representative
- The representative of a deceased vaccine recipient
The Regulations set out the eligibility for compensation in the event of a claim for a death. Point 4 states that compensation for a death will be paid ‘to the person who was the spouse of the beneficiary at the time of his death and his children; if the beneficiary was a minor, the insurance amount will be paid to the parent who had the minor under his care.’
Under this scheme the claimant is allowed to nominate a legal representative to make their claim. Funding for legal representation is not provided by the scheme.
This scheme pays the following
|Live Vaccine Recipient||Dependants of Vaccine Recipients||Estate/Representative of a Deceased Vaccine Recipient|
|Compensation payments are for general categories and are not broken down into economic and non-economic losses.||No Compensation is provided||Compensation payments are for general categories and are not broken down into economic and non-economic losses.|
Payments consist of a lump sum payment.
Funeral expenses are not available under this NFCS.
Compensation under this scheme consists of fixed sums. The 1992 Regulations define the following insurance amounts:-
- death of a minor, 10,000 Shekels;
- death of an adult 250,000;
- permanent disability 250,000.
The Regulations state that these values are index linked.
Time limits for claims
The scheme does not set a time limit between vaccination and the adverse event occurring.
A claim under the scheme must be brought within 3 years of by the age of 21 if the vaccine recipient was a child.
Evaluating claims – standard of proof required
The Regulations specify at point 3 that when the insurer is notified of the occurrence of the insurance case and a claim, the insurer will contact the Minister of Health for the appointment of a committee of experts. The Regulations define the Committee of Experts as a three-member committee appointed by the Minister of Health: its chairman will be a judge appointed by the Minister of Health in consultation with the President of the Supreme Court, and its other two members will be doctors with expert degrees in the fields related to the insurance case.
The Role of the Committee of Experts is to discuss the claim and determine if there is a causal connection between the insurance case and the vaccine. If they have determined that the insurance case results from vaccination, the Committee then determines the percentages of the disability in accordance with the tests and principles established according to section 61 of the National Insurance Law [combined version], 1968-5778.
In the event of a death the Committee are tasked with determining whether the death of the beneficiary resulted from the vaccination.
There is no information provided on the standard of proof which the Committee are required to use.
In their 2021 article Kamin-Friedman & Davidovitch cite evidence that between 2008 and 2021 the Committee had never adjudicated compensation for claimants who claimed vaccine injury according to the Vaccine Injury Compensation law. When compensation was paid, it was given ex gratia as part of a settlement. This indicates that there may be significant divergence between the framework set out in the legislation and the practical application.
Appeals and the right to litigate
Section 7 of the Act specifies ‘If a person files a claim under this law, he will not be allowed to file a claim under the Torts Ordinance [new version] due to the same injury, and vice versa. ‘
There is an external review process, the Expert Committee’s decision can be appealed in the District Court.
Useful information and links
The scheme does not routinely publish data on claims.
Scheme website -
Legislation (in Hebrew)
Kamin-Friedman S, Davidovitch N. Vaccine injury compensation: the Israeli case. Isr J Health Policy Res. 2021 Sep 13;10(1):54. doi: 10.1186/s13584-021-00490-w. PMID: 34517920; PMCID: PMC8436016.