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Ministers ‘risk paying out more in legal fees’ over Covid jab claims

COVID-19 jab refusers should pay for treatment says Parry

Covid jab victims denied compensation because they’re not deemed “60 percent disabled” are more likely to appeal – and cost the Government millions more.

That’s the warning from lawyers, who argue the system is “incentivising litigation”, leading to higher legal bills.

Claimants to the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme can receive £120,000 if they meet the 60 percent disability benchmark as the result of a Covid shot.

Health Minister Maria Caulfield confirmed the Government was “not looking to change” that rule at a recent closed-door meeting for campaigners.

She said the VDPS “is for all vaccinations…so we have to be consistent across the board.

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“If we were to change it now, and then retrospectively look at those who were paid out in the past, we would probably have to amend their payment.”

But Sarah Moore, one of two lawyers who is helping dozens of victims and families to sue AstraZeneca after they suffered rare but serious reactions, criticised Ms Caulfield’s response.

She said: “It can’t be beyond the wit of the Government to find a way to review it so that this doesn’t open the floodgates for
retrospective review of claims.”

So far fewer than half of 5,738 applications have been assessed.

Freedom of Information data up to May 2022 shows 133 Covid vaccine-injured people had their VDPS claim approved on causation – but not on disablement.

Were their claims given the green light, the taxpayer would have forked out £16million in payouts because the Government indemnified drug firms early in the pandemic. A person’s disability level is based on decades-old legislation that focuses on physical industrial injuries, such as the loss of a limb, rather than autoimmune or neurological conditions that are prevalent in vaccine injuries.

Vicky Saunders, 38, from Derby, is appealing the decision to refuse her a payout and called the Government’s latest ruling “another blow after two years of knockback after knockback”. She argues her AstraZeneca vaccine has left her with a life-threatening condition that has almost killed her on more than
one occasion.

The jab triggered a rare immune disorder called haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, which caused inflammation in her body. She nearly died from sepsis shock and was rushed to hospital.

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Vicky said: “My liver, my spleen and my lungs were all inflamed, I remember having this very clear moment where I thought I’m going to die.”

Her adrenal glands were damaged so badly she can no longer process stress and relies on pills to stay alive. Another victim, Gerald McDaid, 65, was also refused a VDPS payout as his disability was classed as less than 40 percent.

A week after his jab he developed Bell’s palsy, a nerve condition that causes facial paralysis. Then his legs started to give way. Gerald, from Chepstow, South Wales, said: “I could hardly walk. If I stood on a tiny pebble, the pain was excruciating.”

He was diagnosed with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, a neurological disorder that causes weakness in the arms and legs. He still can’t walk more than 650ft.

He was told by an occupational therapist he could no longer work and made redundant from his job as a highway engineer.

Today he’s unemployed, dependent on Universal Credit and worried. He said: “It’s ruined my last few years of work.”

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  • Posted on July 2, 2023