1st COVID-19 Vaccine Damage Payment in UK Confirmed With Others Expected to Follow

1st COVID-19 Vaccine Damage Payment in UK Confirmed With Others Expected to Follow
A dose of AstraZeneca vaccine is prepared at COVID-19 vaccination centre in the Odeon Luxe Cinema in Maidstone, UK, on Feb. 10, 2021. (Andrew Couldridge/Reuters)
Owen Evans

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).

Spit told GB News on Monday that "after months of campaigning" she was to receive a £120,000 ($160,000) payment following the death of her 48-year-old musician partner and husband-to-be, Lord Zion.

“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.

“This isn’t about money as nothing can bring back the people we have lost. This is about recognition," she added.

'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.

Vials labelled "AstraZeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo, in this illustration photo taken on March 14, 2021. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)
Vials labelled "AstraZeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo, in this illustration photo taken on March 14, 2021. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

Causal Link

The 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.

In March, the government said that it estimated that the process will take on average six months, requiring access to people’s medical notes and their previous medical history, because "while someone may have had a reaction on the day, we cannot say for sure until we have looked at all the evidence that that is a causal link between the vaccine and the adverse event, even though there may be a strong suggestion that it is."

"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.

Gooddy said that he started to suffer two weeks after taking the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and developed Bell's palsy with paralysis down one side of his face and mouth, and had difficulty in speaking and blindness in one eye. He said that he was still suffering severe health issues.
He said his issue "has always been the lack of support from the medical profession and from the government in regards to compensation, and a lack of any understanding."

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

In 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.

In June, he asked the secretary of state for health and social care in Parliament, "What assessment he has made of the potential link between the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and Guillain-Barre syndrome in the context of the case of Ross Wightman who was awarded compensation from the Canadian Vaccine Injury Support Programme in June 2022 following his diagnosis with that syndrome?"
Wightman is one of the first Canadians approved for a payout owing to a COVID-19 vaccine injury. The former pilot has not disclosed his payout, except to say it is short of the maximum amount of £178,000 ($284,000).

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.

Lee Harding contributed to this report.