Vaccines, Consult: request for compensation possible from knowledge of indemnifiability, not only of the damage

Vaccination damage is an individual prejudice suffered in the interest of the community

The rule that makes the three-year limitation period for the request for compensation for vaccination damage start from when the person entitled has become aware of the damage and not from when he has also learned of its indemnifiability is unconstitutional. This was established by the Constitutional Court, in sentence n. 35 of 2023 (editor Stefano Petitti), ruling on questions raised by the Court of Cassation, labor section, regarding art. 3 of the law n. 210 of 1992.

In this case, the parents of a little girl damaged by the measles vaccine had asked for compensation more than three years after the damage had occurred and yet before the damage itself – as it was caused by vaccination at the time which was not compulsory, but only registered mail – was declared eligible for compensation by the Constitutional Court with sentence no. 107 of 2012. The Court observed that the effectiveness of the right to compensation requires that the deadline for the request start to run from the moment in which the interested party became aware not only of the damage, but also of its indemnifiability, since, before that time, the right to compensation cannot be effectively exercised.

A different solution – adds the ruling – would nullify the right itself, vice versa guaranteed by the constitutional principles of social solidarity and health protection, since vaccination damage is an individual injury suffered in the interest of the community, which must therefore take responsibility for it.