A critical review of the recent and impending changes to the law of statutory compensation for vaccine damage

Pywell, Stephanie (2000). A critical review of the recent and impending changes to the law of statutory compensation for vaccine damage. Journal of Personal Injury Litigation, 2000(4) pp. 246–256.

Abstract

Although vaccination has done a great deal to improve public health, some people are severely injured by its unintended adverse effects. Politicians are agreed that such people should be treated preferentially because vaccination is undertaken partly for the good of society. No common law claim for vaccine-induced injuries has ever succeeded in England or Wales. The only means of recompense is the Vaccine Damage Compensation Scheme, introduced in 1979. The Scheme has provided for a one-off payment of a statutory sum to everyone who can prove that (s)he is at least 80% disabled as a result of vaccine injuries. On 27 June 2000 the Secretary of State for Social Security announced substantial changes to the Scheme. The payment has now been increased from £40,000 to £100,000, with top-up awards for all previous recipients of lower awards. The 80% threshold will be lowered to 60%. The time limit of six years will be increased to permit claims any time until the claimant is aged 21. These changes are welcome, but research suggests that they still do not afford long-term preferential treatment to those injured by vaccines. A comprehensive, flexible, strict liability system is required. This should be designed and implemented as soon as practicable.

Viewing alternatives

Item Actions

Export

About

Recommendations