Vikki Spit, whose fiancé Lord Zion died after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, has become one of the first recipients of funds under England's vaccine damage payment scheme (VDPS).
“It’s the first step in the battle," Spit said. "People can no longer sneer at us and say we’re making stuff up and pretending we don’t exist.
'1,300 Applicants'"The first payment was confirmed on Friday 16.6 and we expect others to follow in the next few days," Sarah Moore, a partner at Hausfeld law firm, told The Epoch Times by email.
Hausfeld represents more than 95 families and individuals in England, including those who have experienced a range of severe health conditions and death following the COVID-19 vaccination.
Moore said that in the UK there are currently around "1,300 applicants awaiting an outcome from the VDPS."
"We also know historically that the acceptance rate for applications is 1.7 percent in the UK. That means that very many of those applicants will be refused an ex gratia payment [or a payment made voluntarily] under the VDPS. That is inevitably going to lead to financial hardship for some families and potentially resentment and vaccine hesitancy going forward," she added.
Causal LinkThe VDPS is a one-off tax-free payment of £120,000 if someone is proven to have been severely disabled or have died as a result of vaccination from diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, swine flu, and more. To be eligible, claimants must meet a 60 percent disablement criteria.
In December 2020, ministers agreed to add COVID-19 to the scheme, to demonstrate “government confidence in the safety profile” of any vaccine being used in the vaccination program.
"It is encouraging that there has now been the first payment from the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme, not least that there is now recognition that the COVID-19 vaccine has caused a severe medical condition," another applicant, Julian Gooddy, told The Epoch Times.
Guillain-Barre SyndromeIn March, Conservative MP Sir Christoper Chope told The Epoch Times that he believes that "tens of thousands have been severely adversely affected by COVID-19 vaccines in the UK."
Chope introduced a private members bill, a piece of legislation to try and explore the issue further after members of the public had told him about COVID-19 vaccine harms.
Minister for Vaccines and Public Health Maggie Throup responded that "a review of the available evidence, including Yellow Card reports and epidemiological studies, indicates that an association with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is possible."
A government spokesperson told The Epoch Times by email that all VDPS "claims are medically assessed by an independent, third party medical assessor."
"The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has now started to receive outcomes from the independent medical assessor for the first batch of COVID-19 related claims sent for assessment. We will contact each claimant directly as soon as we have an update on their individual claim," the spokesperson said.
In the UK, the vaccines currently approved for emergency use are those from Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer-BioNTech. All three have legal indemnity protecting the companies from being sued for damages.
The Epoch Times has contacted AstraZeneca for comment.