MP urges Government to do the right thing on vaccinations - The Leamington Observer

MP urges Government to do the right thing on vaccinations

Leamington Editorial 15th May, 2024   0

ONE of the benefits of being a Member of Parliament is the opportunity to meet, and hopefully help, some remarkable people. Undoubtedly in that category are Jamie and Kate Scott, whose story you may have seen in the national press. In April 2021, Jamie had his Covid vaccination, as many of us did. Unlike most of us though, he was seriously affected by that vaccination, suffering a brain injury which will significantly affect him for the rest of his life. His wife Kate has been campaigning for Jamie, and others in a similar position, to be properly compensated for the lasting impact of that injury. She is part of VIBUK. It is important to say at this point that it is only a tiny minority of those vaccinated who have been adversely affected in any meaningful way and that, somewhat remarkably given their experience, Jamie and Kate remain in favour of mass vaccination in response to challenges like Covid-19. They also believe though that the few who are adversely affected by a vaccination they have been asked to take for the good of the nation, should be properly looked after by the nation. I agree and I have raised their case with successive Health Secretaries and with the Prime Minister, in the Chamber of the House of Commons and in many meetings outside. The Scotts have received something – under a scheme called the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS), which was set up decades ago to be a payment in addition to compensation for those injured by vaccines. The scheme is restricted though – it only pays out of the injury constitutes a 60% disablement (so being 59% disabled gets you nothing) and the payment is limited to £120,000. That may sound like a lot of money but for someone like Jamie – a professional in his 40s with young children – it does not come close to adequate compensation for the lifelong limitations his injury has caused.


So, on Kate and Jamie’s behalf, I have been campaigning for one of 2 things – either for the Government to reform the VDPS so that it can be a vehicle for proper compensation, or for the Government to settle quickly the court cases which currently have to be brought by those in Jamie’s position to secure that proper compensation. That would be in everyone’s best interests – those who have suffered will not need to endure difficult legal proceedings which not all can access at all, and the Government will not face the bad publicity these cases will bring. That is not just a political inconvenience to Government, it could have serious policy consequences. It would be brave to assume that this Government or a future Government will not have to ask us again to get vaccinated for the common good. We are less likely to do so if we come to believe that, if we are unlucky enough to be among the very few adversely affected, we will not be looked after.

I want to see the Government do the right thing for people like Jamie Scott and his family, and for public confidence in vaccination too.


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