UK Govt Lose Swine Flu Vaccine Compensation Payout Appeal

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    A British high court has rejected an appeal by government lawyers to withhold compensation payments to children who developed narcolepsy as a result of a swine flu vaccine.

    Around six million people in Britain were given the Pandemrix vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline during the so called swine flu pandemic in 2009-2010… however the vaccines were withdrawn after doctors noticed a sharp rise in narcolepsy among those who received it.

    Power Quadrant

    Reuters reported that eight hundred children in Europe also developed narcolepsy after taking the swine flu vaccine

    The Guardian reports

    The sleep disorder is permanent and can cause people to fall asleep dozens of times a day. Some narcoleptics have night terrors and a muscular condition called cataplexy that can lead them to collapse on the spot.

    In 2015, a 12-year-old boy, known as John for the proceedings, was awarded £120,000 by a court that ruled he had been left severely disabled by narcolepsy caused by the vaccine. He was seven when he had the jab and developed symptoms within months.

    Because of his tiredness, John became disruptive at school and found it almost impossible to make friends. He takes several naps a day, cannot shower or take a bus on his own, and may never be allowed to drive a car.

    Despite paying out, the Department for Work and Pensions argued John’s disability was not serious enough to warrant compensation and said the court was wrong to take into account how the illness would affect him in the future. But the high court on Thursday rejected the government’s appeal that only the boy’s disability at the time should have been considered.

    The ruling paves the way for more than 60 other people to claim compensation.

    “This important decision brings clarity to anyone who brings claims under the Vaccine Damage Payment Act in future,” said Peter Todd, the family’s solicitor at Hodge Jones & Allen. “It will in particular bring welcome relief to those who developed narcolepsy as a result of taking the swine flu vaccination and who have been awaiting payment from the DWP scheme but also has implications for anyone affected by other vaccines covered by the scheme.”

    The judgment means the DWP has to take into account the impact disability has on a person’s entire life, and not just the impact it has on the individual at the time their claim is made.

    Carol Adl
    Carol Adl

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