The Conflict Analytics Lab is delighted to announce the release of its first iteration of “Vaccine Mediator”, our newest flagship tool. Vaccine Mediator was developed in collaboration with our partners at the British Institute for International & Comparative Law (BIICL), Université Paris-Dauphine, and Oxford University, to help streamline COVID-19 vaccine self-reporting and compensation claims in countries that lack a pre-existing reporting system.
With 64% of the Canadian population now fully vaccinated, the prevalence of otherwise rare adverse effects will naturally grow as vaccination rates increase. The growing possibility of “booster shots” or a “third-dose” has cemented COVID-19 as a generational issue. Consequently, it is more important than ever to have a fast, robust, and simple method of assessing claim eligibility and disseminating scientific data that can reduce vaccine hesitancy to the public.
Why did we develop Vaccine Mediator?
Professor Duncan Fairgrieve’s recent open letter in The Independent explains why a generous compensation scheme is needed for those affected by side effects from COVID-19 vaccination; it’s to be noted that WHO’s COVAX scheme applies to 92 countries and offers a swift and easy avenue for vaccine injury claims.
Until June 2021, Canada was the only G7 country to now have a compensation scheme available for vaccine-related injuries. The federal VISP (Vaccine Injury Support Program) requires support from a team that can analyze medical data and apply those findings to a legal issue. By applying the Conflict Analytics Lab’s multi-disciplinary expertise to the issue at hand, we are able to provide “smart features” to an otherwise analog compensation program.
The Conflict Analytics Lab, Oxford University, and the BIICL have brought together a team well-versed on this intersection that can apply their targeted knowledge to solve a multi-billion dollar global health concern. Vaccine self-reporting is a requisite element of researching the side effects of COVID vaccination. Without a universal and easy-to-use self-reporting system, Canada has been unable to conduct its own bespoke research on Vaccine AEFI’s (Adverse Events Following Immunization).
How does Vaccine Mediator help vaccinated Canadians?
Vaccine Mediator aims to address two separate, yet intertwined problems:
1) Members of the public that are on the fence about getting vaccinated are opting to not vaccinate due to misinformation and a lack of Canadian-specific research on side effects. These individuals know Canadians who suffer a vaccine injury have no means of recourse and fear the worst-case scenario.
2) Many of those who will look for compensation under the recently released compensation scheme lack the financial means to do so. Since the federal program mirrors Quebec’s already existing VISP – the need for legal assistance for marginalized populations is both necessary and predictable.
What does Vaccine Mediator do?
To provide relief for these two issues, Vaccine Mediator was designed to be modular and capable of being plugged into any jurisdiction that lacks an established reporting mechanism. Vaccine Mediator will provide accurate and helpful information regarding the mRNA vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, as well as the AstraZeneca vaccine. Using data from V-Safe (USA), Yellow Card (UK), and COVAX (92 countries), we designed a form of self-reporting that combines the benefits of existing programs with the lessons learned from their failures. The fine-tuned and bespoke nature of our reporting system covers every conceivable piece of information that would be required while remaining quick and easy to understand. Information entered into our Alpha release is safeguarded under CAL’s strict data protection policies and will help us conduct ground-breaking research on the correlation between a vaccine dose and an adverse event. The Vaccine Mediator is currently capable of:
- Intelligently assessing your eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine compensation (USA & Canada)
- Providing you with a downloadable version of your vaccine report that will be crucial in remembering events as they happened, and filing for compensation
- Providing you with a personalized “next-steps report” based on your location and unique circumstances
- Connecting you with our student-run administrative support clinic for further assistance (currently done manually, pending version 2.0)
Your information will be stored for future releases and applied to the compensation scheme Canada eventually implements. If you’re outside of Canada and the USA, please consider self-reporting anyways, as we intend on exploring partnerships with foreign governments that are addressing similar issues. We will be in contact with you in the future if one of our mediators can be of service in navigating this upcoming system. Our long-term goals are to implement the following features:
- A bespoke AI model using research from the alpha release that can predict the strength of your compensation claim.
- A manual-review service by which AI outputs are reviewed by lawyers and medical professionals before being sent to you
- An “online submission feature” that uses AI to fill out, print, and mail in forms for you
- A built-in mediator function that allows you to report, file, and receive a settlement in one central portal.
- Research publications that outline the results of our research, available to members of the public, as well as healthcare professionals
- A mobile app that allows users to accomplish all the above on the go.
- Partner with Health Canada, public health, or other healthcare providers to enhance the post-vaccination experience
How does Vaccine Mediator work?
For the time being, Vaccine Mediator can quickly gather your self-report for research and future contact. The first step of the self-reporting tool will explore the basic details of your vaccination, such as which vaccine you received: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Moderna. Then provide simple personal information necessary to guide further elements of your self-report.
Step two probes for the personal information necessary to file for compensation in the future. Additionally, these entries will be used by the Conflict Analytics Lab to conduct research on the correlation between demographics (age, sex, location, etc.) and vaccine symptoms.
Step three asks you more specific details about your vaccine dose, any high-risk symptoms, whether you’ve experienced severe illness, and the adverse events that followed it. It’s important to try and be as detailed about these elements as possible since the merits of your case will be based on the adverse events in question.
Step four asks questions to determine any underlying health conditions that may affect the chain of causation (vaccine dose vs. adverse event).
Finally, step five asks for information regarding your long-term experience with COVID-19. Such information is necessary to determine your “COVID susceptibility” or immunization, and for the Conflict Analytics Lab to conduct research that combats misinformation.
After completing your self-report, you will be given a confirmation of submission, along with a downloadable report, and personalized next steps “flowchart”. Users who require administrative or other forms of assistance in their claim can email firstname.lastname@example.org. to schedule a free intake appointment until an automated intake system is in place.
Thank you for your time, and continued support,
The Conflict Analytics Lab Team
About the Conflict Analytics Lab
The Conflict Analytics Lab is a consortium interested in the application of artificial intelligence and data analytics to conflict resolution and negotiation-based Queen’s Law and Smith School of Business located in Ontario, Canada.
MyOpenCourt is a product of the Conflict Analytics Lab. Our tools are not-for-profit and funded by research grants. We believe that data science research can make a difference in the legal journey. While a computer algorithm can’t replace good legal skills, data science can help all Canadians determine whether they have a case and reach out to the right professional for help.