Claims News

Compensation for Flu Jab Side Effects Approved in UK

Posted on: September 23rd, 2013

Four families in the UK have been informed that they can apply for compensation for flu jab side effects caused by the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine.

The four families each have children who developed narcolepsy as a direct result of being given the Pandemrix vaccine during the 2009-2010 pandemic, which has now been accepted as increasing the risk of narcolepsy tenfold.

Compensation for the flu jab side effects is expected to be up to £120,000 for each child, provided that it can be shown that the children have suffered severe disability. If individual claims fail, the parents will still be entitled to take court action on behalf of their children.

The Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in the UK and a spokesperson said “The Department for Work and Pensions  has looked at some vaccine damage payments cases again in light of new information regarding swine flu and narcolepsy provided by the Department for Health”.

No Compensation for Flu Jab Side Effects in Ireland

The news of compensation for flu jab side effects in the UK comes a week after the Sufferers of Unique Narcolepsy Disorder (Sound) support group objected to remarks made by Health Minister James Reilly in a radio interview. The minister said that to his knowledge, all the financial and personal assistance that had been requested by families whose children had contracted narcolepsy in Ireland had been provided.

However, Sound committee member Eilish Plunkett – whose son Sean is one of the children affected – said the minister’s statement is not supported by the facts. Ms Plunkett claimed that, although some services were in place, the assistance that was being provided was only temporary.

She said that the provision of financial and personal services could be taken away at any time and that her son had a life-long illness which needed permanent support.  Furthermore, she added, a package of support measures recommended in an official 2012 report was still waiting to go before the government for approval.

The History of Pandemrix in Ireland

More than 800,000 doses of Pandemrix were administered in Ireland after the H1N1 swine flu pandemic of 2009. The Health Service Executive said it had identified thirty cases of the sleeping disorder narcolepsy among children who received the vaccine, but Sound claim to represent fifty-four families in which children are suffering from the side effects of the flu jab.

In April 2012, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan published his “Investigation of an Increase in the Incidence of Narcolepsy in Children and Adolescents in 2009 and 2010” on behalf of the Minister for Health, after which James Reilly gave a commitment to SOUND that a package of support measures would be brought to government for approval prior to the summer recess in 2012.



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