‘File on 4’ tonight – an exploration of the rare occasions when vaccines go wrong | 2 February 2015

February 2, 2016

‘File on 4' on BBC Radio 4 at 8pm this evening will explore what happens on the rare occasions when things go wrong with the UK's vaccination programme.

The programme, Vaccine Damages, looks at the cases of some of those arguing for payouts under the Government's Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme – including families of children who developed devastating sleep disorders after being vaccinated against swine flu.

But – despite the ME Association having extensive talks with programme researchers in the past few weeks and suggesting suitable case studies – the programme won't be focussing on the role of the hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) in relation to this vaccine triggering some cases of ME/CFS, or exacerbating pre-existing ME/CFS.

We understand from discussion with the programme-makers this morning that HBV will only form a very small part of the broadcast.

Our medical adviser, Dr Charles Shepherd, will continue to take a keen interest in the whole subject of vaccinations and their link to ME/CFS.

Vaccine Damages
File on 4 tonight. Listen here:

Vaccination has long been one of the greatest weapons in the battle against a range of potentially fatal diseases. Millions of lives have been saved worldwide, and Britain has played a major role in helping to combat new pandemics. But, rarely, things do go wrong and people develop serious side-effects. In the UK, the Government's Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme is supposed to help those left severely disabled as a result. Among those currently arguing their case are the families of children who developed an incurable and devastating sleep disorder after being immunised against swine flu. But, to date, most have received nothing and Ministers have now gone to the Court of Appeal to try and establish a less generous interpretation of the pay-out rules. Lawyers for the families say the whole scheme is outdated and unfit for purpose. Are they right? Jenny Chryss investigates.

Reporter: Jenny Chryss Producer: Ruth Evans.

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