BBC News: Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme


“Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) causes a very unusual combination of blood clotting and low platelets (part of the blood that causes clotting), leading to excessive bleeding. An even smaller number of these cases can be fatal.

There have been 444 cases of blood clots with low platelets out of 49 million AstraZeneca (AZ) doses given, and 81 deaths, although we don't know that all were caused by the vaccine.

The risk of a healthy but unvaccinated 40-year-old man dying if he catches Covid is about 500 times higher. But while there is no doubt the vaccines have been lifesaving on a population level, affected families are frustrated as they feel the small minority for whom the AZ vaccine has caused harm are being ignored.”

MEA Comments

Dr Charles Shepherd, Honorary Medical Adviser to the ME Association comments:

Interesting item on the BBC news yesterday about the first payment being made under the vaccine damage payments scheme (VDPS) to the relative of someone who had a fatal adverse reaction to the Oxford Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine

One of the other people referred to the article, who is making a claim, is Claire Hibbs, who  

“…..was unable to work for a year after developing VITT (vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia)  struggles with chronic fatigue, migraines and brain fog and fears her job could be at risk – but believes she will not be considered 60% disabled”.

We know that a significant number of people with ME/CFS have had a prolonged and sometimes serious adverse reaction to one of the COVID-19 vaccines. We also know that a whole range of vaccines can occasionally trigger the onset of ME/CFS and more commonly can cause a relapse or exacerbation (sometimes prolonged) of ME/CFS symptoms.

So, it would be helpful to hear from anyone with ME/CFS who has made a claim – successful or not successful – under this government scheme.

If you'd like to provide feedback about your experiences, please email


Eligibility criteria for a vaccine damage payment – which is tax free and can be up to £120,000

You could get a payment if you are severely disabled and your disability was caused by vaccination against any of the following diseases:

  • coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • diphtheria
  • haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)
  • human papillomavirus
  • influenza, except for influenza caused by a pandemic influenza virus
  • measles
  • meningococcal group B (meningitis B)
  • meningococcal group C (meningitis C)
  • meningococcal group W (meningitis W)
  • mumps
  • pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 (swine flu) – up to 31 August 2010
  • pertussis (whooping cough)
  • pneumococcal infection
  • poliomyelitis
  • rotavirus
  • rubella (German measles)
  • smallpox – up to 1 August 1971
  • tetanus
  • tuberculosis (TB)

You may have had a combined vaccination against a number of the diseases listed. For example, you might have been vaccinated against DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) or MMR (measles, mumps and rubella).

You may also be able to get a payment if you’re severely disabled because either:

  • your mother was vaccinated against one of the diseases in the list while she was pregnant
  • you’ve been in close physical contact with someone who’s had an oral vaccine against poliomyelitis
  • You can also apply for this payment on behalf of someone who has died after becoming severely disabled because of one of these vaccinations. You need to be managing their estate to apply.

What counts as ‘severely disabled’

Disablement is worked out as a percentage, and ‘severe disablement’ means at least 60% disabled.

This could be a mental or physical disablement and will be based on medical evidence from the doctors or hospitals involved in your treatment.

When and where the vaccination must have taken place

You must normally have been vaccinated before your 18th birthday, unless the vaccination was during an outbreak of disease in the UK or the Isle of Man, or it was against:

  • coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • poliomyelitis
  • rubella
  • meningococcal group C
  • human papillomavirus
  • pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 (swine flu)
  • meningococcal group W before your 26th birthday
  • influenza

The vaccination must have been given in the UK or the Isle of Man, unless you were vaccinated as part of your armed forces medical treatment.

More Information about Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS) can be found here

Dr Charles Shepherd,
Trustee and
Hon. Medical Adviser
to the ME Association.

Dr Charles Shepherd
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