Pay-outs for Covid vaccine injuries exceed £20million amid calls to boost 'outdated' compensation fee to almost £200,000 (and more than 360 claims were rejected because of cruel loophole)

 READ MORE: AstraZeneca Covid vaccine victim left unable to walk after jab

Britons who suffered severe side effects from the Covid vaccine have been paid £20million by the Government, MailOnline can reveal.

Data acquired under the Freedom of Information Act shows 168 people have been told they are eligible for the Vaccine Damage Payment — a £120,000 tax-free sum — due to injuries from a Covid jab.

Almost all of these are related the AstraZeneca vaccine, which triggered a blood clotting complication that was so rare it was missed in original clinical trials.

Another 592 claims are waiting for an outcome, meaning the bill could rise closer to the £100million mark, if they are accepted.

Data acquired under the Freedom of Information Act shows 168 people have been told they are eligible for the Vaccine Damage Payment, a £120,000 tax-free sum, due to injuries from a Covid jab

Data acquired under the Freedom of Information Act shows 168 people have been told they are eligible for the Vaccine Damage Payment, a £120,000 tax-free sum, due to injuries from a Covid jab

The majority of claims under the vaccine injury scheme relate to the AstraZeneca jab

The majority of claims under the vaccine injury scheme relate to the AstraZeneca jab

In some patients, the AstraZeneca jab triggered a blood clotting complication that was so rare it was missed in original clinical trials

In some patients, the AstraZeneca jab triggered a blood clotting complication that was so rare it was missed in original clinical trials

More than 11,000 claims had been made by April this year — double the number submitted in the previous year.

However, the vast majority have been rejected.

While some were due to victims being unable to be prove their injuries were caused by a vaccine, at least 324 applicants were told it was because their injury did not meet a 60 per cent severe disability threshold.

This means that even though their injury is accepted to have been caused by a jab, they won't see a penny. This is even if they are assessed by a medic as being 59 per cent disabled.

The 60 per cent threshold, which covers injuries like losing a limb, a sense like your sight, or complete paralysis, is one of many criticisms of the scheme.

It comes amid calls to overhaul the existing scheme, boosting the payment as well as reforming its eligibility criteria and payout structure.

One of the key criticisms cited by campaigners is the all-or-nothing payment of £120,000.

They argue the payment doesn't go far enough for those most severely disabled by a vaccine injury, such as those who have suffered brain injuries, unable to work and facing ongoing care costs for the rest of their lives.

However, those who receive a payout under the scheme can still pursue private legal action against the Government to secure more damages.

Campaigners note that the £120,000 figure was set in 2007 and hasn't kept pace with inflation and the rising cost of living.

According to figures from the Bank of England, if the sum had increased alongside inflation payments, it would now be just over £195,000.

Another criticism is the length of time it takes for victims to get payment.

MailOnline has spoken to some successful applicants who had to wait nearly two years to see a penny of the £120,000 sum.

They said this added to stress of being unable to work due to disability and having to rely on their savings to survive.

Others have previously told this website how year-long delays had left them with no option but to sell their homes and rely on food banks.

And some families, surviving on benefits such as Universal Credit following the death or disability of a main breadwinner from a jab injury, have had this state support reduced or removed entirely, with Government classifying the £120,000 as 'income'.

But some Brits never see a penny at all, due to the scheme's 60 per cent disability cut-off.

Those injured by a vaccine must either be killed or be at least 60 per cent disabled by their injury, as assessed by a medic, for they or their families to get any money.

This feature, described as 'cruel' by critics, means Brits with lesser, but with potentially still life changing injuries, get nothing.

Campaigners have called for £120,000 all-or-nothing payment to be reformed so those with lesser injuries still get something in recognition of their suffering.

At the other end of the scale, those severely disabled by the jab say the £120,000 doesn't recognise the differing extent of their injuries.

Under the current 60 per cent threshold, someone who loses one leg to a jab complication gets the same amount as someone paralysed for the rest of their life.

The Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme (VDPS) was originally set up in the 1970s.

The way it measures disability causes difficulties 
Sonia Macleod, Oxford University 

It is, in principle, meant to encourage Brits to get vaccines in the interest of public health and stopping the spread of disease by providing support in the rare event of vaccine complication.

An update to the payout total isn't unprecedented, the scheme originally launched with a £10,000 sum which was subsequently topped up.

However, despite the scheme receiving a huge surge in claims during the Covid vaccine rollout, it hasn't been updated.

Critics say this could put the future of public health in the UK risk as Brits see those who got a jab in the name of public good are left destitute and vaccine uptake drops as a result.

Read More

Why do AstraZeneca Covid jab victims only have a 3-year cut-off for compensation? What are the side effects of the vaccine? And what do I have to prove to get a pay-out? All your questions answered¿

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Sonia Macleod, a senior research fellow at Oxford University's Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, is one of those calling for a rethink of the current scheme.

She told MailOnline: 'The way it measures disability causes difficulties, claimants are often not clear about what the thresholds are and how their own condition will be measured.

'Ideally, you want a scheme to be clear and simple for users to understand, that is not the experience that VDPS users have shared with us.'

Ms Macleod said it would 'logical' for the Government to 'regularly review' VDPS payments in light of inflation.

She believes there is a need for a 'wider discussion' among the public and policymakers about the intended purpose of the scheme.

She said: 'Is the payment simply a government recognition of the fact that someone has been harmed when acting for the common good? Or is it intended to compensate the harmed individual for the injuries they have suffered?

'If you want a scheme to function as an alternative to litigation, then you need to ensure there is parity between the amount an individual would get under the scheme and in court, which we clearly do not have.'

Ms Macleod also called for greater transparency in how the VDPS came to its decisions for applicants.

She said similar schemes in Europe allowed an applicant to see the process of their application, as well the documents being used, in real time on an online system which she said had numerous benefits.

'It makes it easy for claimants to see where in the claims process they are, and allows for the claimant voice to be heard throughout the process,' she said.

'Even if an individual doesn’t agree with the end decision, they understand the process and the reasoning that went into it.'

Researchers believe the rare side effect occurs due to the modified cold virus lurking in the jab having an adverse effect on platelets in the blood, triggering clotting

Researchers believe the rare side effect occurs due to the modified cold virus lurking in the jab having an adverse effect on platelets in the blood, triggering clotting

The VDPS is managed by a health service branch called the NHS Business Service Authority (NHSBSA) which took over management of the scheme in late 2021 from the Department for Work and Pensions.

A spokesperson claimed claims to the VDPS can take a long time to process due to delays getting the necessary health documents.

'It can take significant time for some healthcare providers to send us full medical records so that a claim can be assessed. This has caused delays to a number of claims, and we acknowledge this can be frustrating,' they said.

'A medical assessment for each claim can only commence once we receive full medical records from a claimant’s GP, medical providers, local authorities, and other relevant healthcare providers.

'We do not have automatic access to these medical records. We are therefore reliant on healthcare providers to promptly and securely send them to us.'

The spokesperson added that NHSBSA is working with healthcare providers to find ways to speed up this process.

They added that the total claims figures included in the FOI data will include some duplicate claims from people who have previously been told they are ineligible. Such claims are automatically rejected, they added.

NHSBSA also said they have significantly expanded the number of staff working on the VDPS since they took responsibility for it 2021.

Of the 168 claimants have been notified that they are entitled to a Vaccine Damage Payment, fewer than five are from Pfizer or Moderna's Covid jabs, the rest are related to the AstraZeneca Covid jab.

AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine, developed by scientists from the prestigious Oxford University, is being withdrawn from global markets according to a recent announcement.

It follows 51 British families taking the pharma giant to court, arguing the vaccine was 'a defective product' that was 'not as safe as consumers generally were reasonably entitled to expect'. 

The pharmaceutical titan has strongly denied these claims.

AstraZeneca's jab, hailed as an example of British ingenuity became a pariah a few short months after it was rolled out to world following the revelation of the unexpected rare clotting side effect.

The withdrawal comes months after the company admitted in legal documents that its jab can cause the thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) reaction.

TSS is thought to have struck about one in 50,000 people who had the jab.

Despite this the jab itself is cited by experts as a success, saving an estimated 6.5million lives from Covid and ending the paralysing wave of lockdowns.

While no changes to the VDPS have been announced Health Secretary Victoria Atkins has asked officials in her department to look into how it could be reformed.

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