Covid-19: GPs are told to be ready to deliver vaccine from next monthBMJ 2020; 371 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4291 (Published 04 November 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4291
All rapid responses
Wendy Stephen describes the hurdles that claimants presenting a case to the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme have had to overcome, in past years. (1)
She ends her response on a more positive note, “Hopefully, those who have suffered injury or death in association with the Covid 19 vaccine (and others in the future) will encounter a more humane, efficient, caring, responsive system than that experienced by many families in the past. “
The number of deaths and ADRs, post covid vaccination, that have been reported to the UK MHRA are available on their website. No where else in the public nor professional media are those figures mentioned nor discussed.
Reading the advice of the defence organisations about the information that a doctor should provide and explain, before a person can give informed consent to any procedure, (2,3) following the Supreme Court’s Montgomery judgement in 2015, suggests that an assessment of the risks of death and adverse reactions is a vital part of the information that a doctor should explain. As the covid vaccines are experimental, with incomplete safety data, discussion of those MHRA figures would seem to be especially important.
If that does not happen, or is not recorded as having happened, does the “informed consent” that follows, have legal validity ?
The MPS informs us that where there is failure to obtain valid consent, various repercussions may follow.
“A significant proportion of clinical negligence claims are settled simply because valid consent was not obtained. In theory, where harm has befallen the patient and consent was not obtained, this could also give rise to claims for assault or battery and, in extreme cases, criminal charges, but fortunately this is exceptionally rare. “ (4)
Anecdotal accounts of individual covid vaccination experiences, supported by the manner in which vaccination centres appear to function, suggest that the Supreme Court’s advice on the nature of information that must be provided, during the consent process, is not being followed.
If this is so, why are the medico-legal implications not being more openly discussed ?
The estate of a person who allegedly died following Covid vaccination, or a person who allegedly suffers an ADR following covid vaccination, will be able to make a claim against a doctor who, it may be argued, did not explain, nor document his or her explanation, that such an outcome was possible.
The refusal of the vaccine makers to accept any compensation liability for their products becomes less relevant.
The size of the potential problem may be guessed at, by visiting the MHRA website. (5)
Competing interests: No competing interests
Hopefully the Prime Minister’s announcement that responsibility for the running of the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme in the UK is to switch from the Department of Work and Pensions to the Department of Health and Social Care heralds the start of some urgently needed changes to the way in which this scheme is run. (1)
For decades families have struggled to navigate the paperwork, the delays, the stresses and injustices foisted upon them by the current system. As there is no Legal Aid to allow applicants to engage legal and medical experts to best represent their claims, families, often very burdened in having to cope with a vaccine injured relative, have to do the best they can themselves against the overwhelming resources of the SSDWP in utilising solicitors, QC’s and medical experts to defend claims.
In addition many claimants have established vaccine induced injury but refused an award on the basis that they do not meet the required 60% percentage of disablement according to SSDWP appointed assessors. Families have been left to argue against a refusal without the benefit of medical experts leaving them seriously disadvantaged.
The scheme is somewhat dated having been in place since 1979 and seriously in need of updating to address vaccine injury today. The practice of contrasting vaccine induced disabilities with those on a pre formatted table of Industrial Injuries so as to calculate percentage of disablement is wrong. Very few vaccine induced injuries are to be found on the table, a clear indication that a separate means of addressing vaccine injury is long overdue.
Lengthy delays are common with my daughter’s case running continuously for almost ten years without a resolution. That the system permitted a claim to run without a remedy for almost ten years is inhumane and unjust.
Any intervention which seeks to address the deeply flawed system which currently exists for the unfortunate few who suffer injury or death because of vaccination will be warmly welcomed in many quarters.
It is to be hoped that the Prime Minister’s announcement is the first step of many more in the future which will address and change the VDPS for the better. Hopefully, those who have suffered injury or death in association with the Covid 19 vaccine (and others in the future) will encounter a more humane, efficient, caring, responsive system than that experienced by many families in the past.
Competing interests: Vaccine injured daughter had ongoing claim before the VDPU between 2011 and 2020
The Vaccine Damage Payment Act 1979 makes provision for claims of serious injury following vaccination from over 18s in certain circumstances which would appear to be applicable to the current situation in the UK and the administration of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Jane Ellison MP 4th December 2014…………..
“The Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme established under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act (VDPA) 1979 essentially covers diseases that are protected against through the routine childhood vaccination programme. However the scheme also covers people over the age of 18 years for the following diseases: poliomyelitis; rubella; meningococcal group C (meningitis C); human papillomavirus (HPV); pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 (swine flu) [up to 31 August 2010]; or during an outbreak of a specified disease against which the person was vaccinated in the United Kingdom or Isle of Man.” (1)
From the Gov.UK website…………..
“You must normally have been vaccinated before your 18th birthday, unless the vaccination was during an outbreak of disease in the UK…………”
From the Vaccine Damage Payment Act 1979……….
2 Conditions of entitlement (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the conditions of entitlement referred to in section 1(1)(b) above are— (a) that the vaccination in question was carried out— (i) in the United Kingdom or the Isle of Man, and (ii) on or after 5th July 1948, and (iii) in the case of vaccination against smallpox, before 1st August 1971; (b) except in the case of vaccination against poliomyelitis or rubella, that the vaccination was carried out either at a time when the person to whom it was given was under the age of eighteen or at the time of an outbreak within the United Kingdom or the Isle of Man of the disease against which the vaccination was given;
Competing interests: Mother of vaccine damaged daughter
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care. This body is responsible for issuing an emergency licence to allow the use of Covid-19 vaccines in the UK if the licence is required urgently.
The MHRA should NOT authorise Covid-19 vaccines when the agency is already anticipating 'high volume of Covid-19 vaccine Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs)'. (1)
Neither should the agency authorise Covid-19 vaccines when the agency admits that it does not have the technology in place to process ADRs and '...it will be unable to process these ADRs effectively. This will hinder its ability to rapidly identify any potential safety issues with the Covid-19 vaccine and represents a direct threat to patient life and public health....'. (1)
In my opinion, the MHRA has already been failing the public; on its website it states that: '..It is estimated that only 10% of serious reactions and between 2 and 4% of non-serious reactions are reported...'. (2) I cannot find any information to show that they are addressing this potentially dangerous finding.
During a meeting with the MHRA which I have attended, officers have stated that the reports that they do receive are not routinely followed-up by contacting the reporting health professional, six months to 12 months later, to determine if the individual fully recovered from the reaction or has further deteriorated.
Without this information neither the MHRA nor doctors have any accurate safety data on vaccines. A point that has been raised with the Government time and time again. (3) (4)
Currently anyone who takes a Covid-19 vaccine may not be aware that the procedure is loaded with risks for the above reasons and also because there is no financial safety net for anybody harmed in the process. The vaccine manufacturers have sought and been given indemnities to protect them from potential vaccine damage claims. (5) I understand that health professionals who administer the vaccines will also be protected against claims.
The proposed Covid-19 vaccine, as with all vaccines, will carry a risk of serious injury or death. Vaccine manufacturers' product information sheets attest to this with other vaccines. A recent example is the H1N1 vaccine which was introduced quickly into the population in 2009 and was found to be linked with narcolepsy and Guillain Barre syndrome (6) (7)
Contrary to how most MPs and the Prime Minister presents people who complain of vaccine damage and labels them as: 'anti-vaxxers are nuts' (8), the Government is fully aware of the risks that vaccines pose to the public. Vaccine damage payments of over £74 million have been awarded to people severely damaged. However, Covid-19 vaccine is not listed on the eligible to claim section. (9) The Vaccine Damage Payment Act 1979 would need to be amended to include all people over the age of 21 years and the awards should be made appropriate to the damage sustained on a par with current product liability claims.
As it stands, the Covid-19 vaccine is being promoted as the saviour of the country and according to the media reports, no serious concerns have shown up in the trials.The MHRA, with the authority to licence this vaccine, admits in tender documents that they are expecting a high volume of ADRs but don't have the technology to cope which they say is a direct threat to patient life and public health.
Meanwhile, the only people taking any risk whatsoever are the people holding their arms out.
(3) Jabs. Deja vu. Taken from the Daily Telegraph 1st February 1974. Vaccine 'Risk To Children' By the Telegraph's Parliamentary Staff. Jabs perspective.
Competing interests: Mother of MMR vaccine-damaged son