There will be many times in life when medical intervention is required, whether you need help from a doctor when you get sick, require surgery to fix an issue, or are trying to prevent illness.
Even though these medical interventions are usually completed successfully with no negative consequences, none of them are ever totally risk-free, and that includes vaccines.
Is it actually possible to be injured from a vaccine and what is the vaccine compensation UK payment?
While the rate of injury or illness as a direct result of vaccinations is minuscule, they are never totally risk-free.
Therefore, the vaccine damage payment scheme was introduced by the government to help people who may have suffered negative consequences after receiving one.
When vaccines were first given, there was nothing offered in the UK by the manufacturers or government for those who might have suffered serious side effects from them, until the vaccine damage payment scheme was introduced in 1978.
- 1 Eligibility For Vaccine Compensation
- 2 What Else Is Needed to Receive a Vaccine Damage Payment?
- 3 The Rate of Vaccine Injury in the UK
- 4 How Much Do You Receive for Vaccine Compensation UK
- 5 Previous Cases of Vaccine Injury
- 6 Related Questions
Eligibility For Vaccine Compensation
There are strict criteria in place for UK’s Vaccine Damage Payment to ensure that it is only given to people who were affected by specific vaccines.
According to NIDirect government website, you must have received one of these vaccines to be eligible for compensation:
- haemophilus influenza type B (HIB)
- human papillomavirus
- influenza, except for influenza caused by a pandemic influenza virus
- meningococcal group B (meningitis B)
- meningococcal group C (meningitis C)
- meningococcal group W (meningitis W)
- pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 (swine flu) – up to 31 August 2010
- pertussis (whooping cough)
- pneumococcal infection
- rubella (German measles)
- smallpox – up to 1 August 1971
- tuberculosis (TB)
In addition to being one of these specific vaccines, other criteria must be met. The vaccination must have been administered in either the UK or Isle of Man and you must be a resident of the UK.
However, those who were vaccinated as part of medical treatment while they served with the Armed Forces, this could have been done elsewhere.
You must be able to prove that you were vaccinated before you turned 18 years old.
The only exception is if you received the immunization during a disease outbreak or for something like the H1N1 pandemic influenza or meningococcal group C.
For a complete list of the vaccines that is updated regularly, you can check the vaccine damage payment scheme website.
What Else Is Needed to Receive a Vaccine Damage Payment?
In addition to meeting the initial criteria for the type of vaccine, location, and date it was administered, the most important factor is that you’ll need to prove you were injured as a direct result of the vaccine.
This compensation is paid for those who can prove through the correct medical assessments that they were ‘severely disabled’ due to vaccines.
This means at least 60 percent disablement has to be proven, and it can be either mental or physical.
There are ongoing tests required with various hospitals and doctors before the final assessment is given, and it must be directly related to one of the vaccines listed that you were given.
Another way to receive the payout is if you were severely disabled as a result of your mother receiving one of the listed vaccinations whilst she was pregnant with you.
Otherwise, you could have been in close contact with someone who was administered with the poliomyelitis vaccine and were directly injured as a result.
To claim a payment through the scheme, there are time limits to follow. If you’re claiming for a child, they must be two years old before you can follow the process.
For an adult, either on or before their 21st before or within six years from the vaccination date, whichever is the latest. A form can be filled out online or through the mail which starts the process, and then a further assessment will be required.
The Rate of Vaccine Injury in the UK
According to a Freedom of Information request confirmed by the Department for Work and Pensions, the UK Vaccine Damage Payment plan has paid out £74,130,000 for just over 900 claims.
Since the payments were introduced in 1978, this is considered a small number of successful claims, further highlighting the low risks of vaccines.
Vaccines were designed to prevent disease in humans, but that doesn’t mean they’re without risks completely.
Some people have experienced side effects after receiving a vaccine, and although these are harmless, like swelling or redness at the injection site, there have been cases where the side effects were more severe.
In a serious case, side effects could include seizure or allergic reaction, and there have even been cases where death occurred.
When people attempt to claim the vaccine damage payment, they are claiming that they were either partially or fully disabled as a result, and therefore may be eligible for a vaccine damage payment.
How Much Do You Receive for Vaccine Compensation UK
According to the Vaccine Damage Payment website, the rate for a vaccine damage payment is a one-off tax-free payment of £120,000.
The rate for this compensation differs depending on how severe your disability is and once you have been deemed at least 60 percent disabled, you’ll be able to eligible to receive it.
Once successful with your claim, the payment is made directly to you and usually into a specified bank account where other pensions or entitlements are paid.
For those under 18 receiving the payment, the compensation will be paid to a trustee to hold until the time you turn 18 and can access the money.
In this case, your parents will usually be the appointed trustees and may be able to access it early.
When the payment is made, there’s a chance it could affect other payments or entitlements that you receive from the government.
These entitlements include income support, housing benefit, and pension credits, so you’ll have to check specifically with the office that handles your payment to determine whether or not it’ll have an impact.
As it is a one-off tax-free payment it can be counted as income for that financial year and could lead to a decrease in payments temporarily.
Previous Cases of Vaccine Injury
In the UK, cases of vaccine injury and damage are rarely reported in the media due to their sensitivity and patient confidentiality, but there have been some famous cases that were made public.
With around 900 cases made in the 50 years or so that the payment scheme was introduced, only a small number seem to have been publicized.
One of the most famous cases reported was won in 2010, with a payment made to a mother whose son became severely mentally and physically disabled after the MMR vaccine.
At 13 months old, he was given the vaccination as a healthy baby boy and 10 days later suffered a seizure which led to his total disablement.
The case was argued for many years by the compensation scheme until an appeal led a medical assessment panel, including a barrister and two doctors, to conclude that the MMR vaccine could be blamed for his disablement.
The family received £90,000 compensation, signaling the first ever time that this specific vaccine had genuine safety issues raised about it.
The UK government has rules in place regarding the release of information of these vaccine injury cases to prevent an overload of claims being put in, and also to protect the identity of the victims.
Furthermore, it’s difficult to say what type of vaccines the most payments have been made for, and what type of injuries have been received as a result of vaccines.
The UK’s Vaccine Damage compensation scheme has been around for over 50 years and follows strict criteria to ensure that all claims are taken seriously.
We’ve answered some questions about this governing body and the reality of vaccine injuries to inform you about the process as a whole.
What Is Considered a Vaccine Injury?
A vaccine injury is considered any adverse physical or mental effect caused directly by a vaccination, and usually something permanent or long-lasting.
Although there have been some approved compensation claims by the UK vaccine damage payment scheme, proving that vaccination was the cause of any injury is extremely difficult to do.
What Are the Side Effects of Vaccines?
All vaccines come with potential side effects and it’s the duty of the medical practitioner delivering them to make the patient aware of what these are.
Common side effects from vaccines include high temperatures, swelling and redness at the injection site, and