Medical Matters > Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme

ME Essential Summer 2022


There was an interesting item on the BBC news ( ) about the first payment being made under something called the vaccine damage payments scheme (VDPS) to the relative of someone who had suffered a fatal adverse reaction to the Oxford Astra Zenca COVID-19 vaccine.

The BBC article also referred to a lady who “…..was unable to work for a year after developing VITT (vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia) and 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”.

As someone who has had a significant and prolonged (now over a year) relapse of ME following this vaccine do you think it is worth making a claim? And does this scheme also cover people who have developed ME after other types of vaccination?


We have heard from a number of people with ME/CFS who have reported a prolonged and sometimes serious reaction to one of the Covid-19 vaccines. We also know that a wide range of vaccines can occasionally trigger the onset of ME/CFS and, more commonly, can cause a relapse or exacerbation of ME/CFS symptoms.

People with vaccine-induced or exacerbated ME/CFS may qualify for this compensation scheme – which provides a tax free payment of up to £120,000 –  if they meet with all of the eligibility criteria. The main qualification is that you have to be severely disabled as a result of a vaccination. Your disability also has been caused by vaccination against one 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 groups B, C and 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).

The scheme also applies if you 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 can also apply for this payment on behalf of someone who has died after becoming severely disabled because of one of these vaccinations, but you need to be managing their estate to apply.

What counts as being ‘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 have normally 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

Please let us know if you have made a claim for compensation under this scheme:


Information provided by The ME Association should not be construed as medical advice. Don't assume any new or worsened symptoms are simply the result of having ME/CFS or Long Covid. We recommend that any information you deem relevant is discussed with your NHS GP as soon as possible. It is important that you seek personalised medical advice from the GP who is in charge of your care and who knows you well.

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