Vikki Spit from Cumbria is believed to be the first person to receive vaccine injury compensation after her 48 year old partner, Zion, died in May 2021 following vaccination with the Astrazeneca vaccine.
A handful of other people have received payments in the past few days under the government’s vaccine damage payment scheme (VDPS), which pays out up to a maximum of £120 000 (€140 000; $150 000).
Sarah Moore, a partner at the Hausfeld law firm, which is representing people seeking compensation, told The BMJ it was an important moment. “While the VDPS payments are very modest in amount, and will do very little to alleviate the financial difficulties with which many families are now struggling as a consequence of injury or bereavement, the fact of payment for some will mark a moment of vindication in that it is the clearest statement yet, by the government, that in some rare instances the covid-19 vaccines have caused very significant injury or death.”
However, it was “far too little, too late,” she said. “With a 60% disability eligibility criteria, a historical acceptance rate of 1.7%, and a maximum cap of £120 000, the inadequacies of the scheme mean that some families will have no choice but to look at litigation in order to access substantive financial support.”