This winter, as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the globe, the demand for flu jabs in England has never been greater, with stocks in some GP surgeries and pharmacies reportedly running out.
Stocks that are currently available are being given to the over-65s and vulnerable or high risk groups. Once those groups have been immunised, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to make flu jabs freely available to healthy 50 to 64-year-olds for the first time.
Given there is no vaccine for coronavirus yet, the drive to increase immunisation against flu stems from the double threat posed by flu and coronavirus this winter. Research shows that catching flu and coronavirus simultaneously can have serious, sometimes fatal, consequences.
Despite the very high demand for flu jabs – which has led to some pharmacies suspending bookings, government officials say there is no national shortage and there will be enough doses in the coming weeks and months to vaccinate the 30 million people deemed most vulnerable to flu.
Millions of vaccines are administered every year, saving millions of lives. Generally vaccines are very safe, with the rate of adverse reaction reportedly being substantially less than one in a million. However, because of their widespread use, it is inevitable that some people will suffer side effects. Although a very rare occurrence, these adverse reactions can be serious and can even cause permanent disablement.
In the unlikely event that you suffer a severe adverse reaction to a vaccine and end up permanently disabled, you may be eligible for compensation through a statutory scheme contained in the Vaccine Damage Payment Act 1979.
The experts at Negligence Claimline outline how this compensation scheme works and when you might be eligible for a payment.
If you are left severely disabled as a result of a vaccination against certain diseases, you could get a one-off tax-free payment of £120,000. Severe disablement means at least 60 per cent disabled, either mentally or physically.
You may be eligible for this Vaccine Damage Payment if you are rendered severely disabled due to vaccination against influenza – although crucially in these coronavirus-ridden times, this does not include flu caused by a pandemic flu virus.
You would also qualify for the payment if you were left severely disabled due to being vaccinated for any of the following diseases:
- haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB);
- human papillomavirus;
- 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;
- tetanus; and
You may also be able to get a payment if you were severely disabled because either:
- your mother was vaccinated against one of the diseases in the list while she was pregnant; or
- you have been in close physical contact with someone who has had an oral vaccine against poliomyelitis.
The compensation payment will be made directly to you or, if you are under 18 or are unable to manage your own affairs, payment will be made to trustees. If you live with your family, your parents may be appointed as trustees.
A Vaccine Damage Payment can affect benefits and entitlements such as Income Support or Universal Credit so you are strongly advised to consult a solicitor before applying for the payment.
A specialist lawyer can help you make your application and advise you on ways to minimise your loss of benefits, such as through the creation of a trust to receive your payment.
Contact us today for a confidential discussion with one of our specialist medical negligence solicitors on 01245 253214 or email [email protected]