The NHS Vaccine Damage Scheme has awarded a woman the maximum payout of £120,000 after her partner died from complications linked to the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine. She becomes the first person to receive the NHS vaccine injury payout in relation to the Covid vaccine.
Vikki Spit, 38, has questioned the compensation—citing the financial hardships she faced following the loss of her partner of over 2 decades and the lengthy process of receiving the payment.
Her 48-year-old fiancé, Lord Zion, died at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary on May 19, 2021—8 days after receiving his Covid jab. Ms Spit claims Zion experienced ‘excruciating’ headaches on May 13, which have since been confirmed to be a vaccine-induced complication.
‘Having Half of Yourself Ripped Away’
Although international bodies approved AstraZeneca as a safe Covid vaccine towards the end of 2020, the UK government changed the eligibility criteria for people under 40 in May 2021 following a risk of myocarditis and blood clots in the younger population. This is the same month Zion got the jab and died from its complications a few days later.
According to his death certificate, Zion developed vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). The syndrome is characterized by severe headaches, shortness of breath, bleeding, and vomiting, among other signs.
The couple from Cumbria was in a rock band going by the name ‘Spit Like This’—and were to get married in 2021.
Vikki said to the BBC: “We have been together for almost half my life – it’s like having half of yourself ripped away, especially when it happened so suddenly.”
She adds: “I am still heartbroken by the sudden loss of my partner of 21 years, and alongside this emotional trauma, I have also been faced with financial hardship as a result of the loss of Zion’s contribution to household finances.
“There just isn’t the proper financial aid coming from the government to support those who have lost family to the vaccine.”
Following the death of her fiancé, Ms Spit filed for a compensation claim under the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS) Act 1979, which is operated by NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) on behalf of the UK government’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
The Vaccine Damage Payment awards a one-off tax-free payment of up to £120,000 awarded to people with severe disability due to vaccinations under specified conditions. As in Vikki’s case, it is possible to file for the claim on behalf of someone else if you manage their estate.
After more than a year since her fiancé’s death, Ms Spit was awarded the maximum payment of £120,000 on June 17, 2022. However, she claimed the amount was inadequate and should have been closer to £180,000.
She says most of the money will be used to repay debts she had incurred in covering Zion’s funeral costs and pursuing a legal claim from the NHS Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme. She links part of her financial challenges to a ‘massive drop’ in her household income as a result of losing Zion’s contribution. Ms Spit also pointed out that the payment had not been adjusted for spiralling inflation since the scheme was established.
“Seeing as they haven’t increased the amount since 2007, they leave us no choice but to continue to litigate against AstraZeneca or the Government,” Vikki said.
She stresses that those suffering from permanent illness and severe disabilities due to vaccines will have ‘ongoing medical expenses for the rest of their lives’. Ms Spit is calling on the government to revise the maximum payout to better reflect the economic impact of disabilities from vaccination.
Support for Victims of Vaccine Injuries
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, the £120,000 payout is designed to ‘recognise that the person could have been harmed by having a vaccine’ and not a means to cover all costs associated with disability or death.
Confirming her compensation, Vikki said that this was “the first step in the battle.”
“This isn’t about money as nothing can bring back the people we have lost. This is about recognition. I think it is disgusting that widows and injured people have had to fight for a year to get this support. We aren’t finished yet.”
She adds: “There are people who are really struggling and finding it really difficult, all because they just did the right thing.
“They did what the Government was telling us to do – to protect everyone, to bring the country back to normal, and their lives have just been shattered.”
A spokesperson for NHS Business Services Authority said: “The Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS) claims are medically assessed by an independent, third party medical assessor.
“The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has now started to receive outcomes from the independent medical assessor for the first batch of COVID-19-related claims sent for assessment. We will contact each claimant directly as soon as we have an update on their individual claim.”
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