A boy disabled by Pandermix swine flu jab has been awarded £120,000 compensation following a three-year legal battle.
The 12-year-old boy developed narcolepsy as a result of the vaccination, and the extreme tiredness caused by the sleep disorder has had a significant impact on his life, causing issues for the child at school and in his social circle. Blackwater Law personal injury solicitors in Essex was not the acting firm of solicitors in this case.
What is Narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a condition that affects approximately .05% of the population, which means that approximately 31,000 people are affected by the disorder in the UK. Narcolepsy affects the brain’s ability to regulate the normal sleep-wake cycle. This can lead to a range of symptoms, such as:
- Disturbed night-time sleep causing excessive sleepiness;
- Cataplexy (muscle weakness) – caused by heightened emotions such as fear, anger and laughter;
- Sleep paralysis – an inability to move whilst conscious when falling asleep or waking from sleep; and
- Hyperactivity (most common amongst children suffering from the condition).
Personal injury lawyers representing the boy and his family argued that the narcolepsy had left the boy severely disabled, impacting his ability to live his life normally and potentially impacting his future.
When “Disabled” is Not Disabled Enough
Whilst the government acknowledges that the Pandermix vaccines had led to narcolepsy in certain cases it had argued that the condition was not serious enough to warrant compensation payments to sufferers via the Department for Work and Pension’s Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme. The scheme awards a standard payment of £120,000 for severe and permanent disability caused by certain vaccinations.
The Pandemrix vaccination was widely provided to approximately 6 million people in Britain between 20009 and 2010 as part of the government’s reaction to the flu epidemic, involving a nationwide flu vaccination programme. Whilst there was much media attention surrounding swine flu, there was never the widespread outbreak of the strain that was predicted. Since the national vaccination scheme, the GlaxoSmithKline Pandemrix vaccination has been linked to a number of cases of narcolepsy. The Health Protection Agency, which undertook a major study following the vaccination programme, linked the condition to around one in every 55,000 Pandemrix jabs.
The case of this young boy is one of the first successful compensation claims relating to the vaccination and the narcolepsy it can cause. It is envisaged that the case will now pave the way for many others who suffer from the condition, opening the door for them to make claims for compensation. Each case will have to be presented based on its own circumstances, with the narcoleptic conditions having to be serious enough to be considered debilitating. Under the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme, to qualify for compensation an individual must be considered 60% disabled, which according the scheme is equivalent to an individual losing a hand.
The Impact of Sleep Deprevation
In the case of the young boy disabled by Pandermix swine flu jab, the court was told how he has become disruptive at school as a result of extreme tiredness caused by the condition, as well as how he now has only one friend at school due to the condition making it difficult for him to socialise. The court also heard how the boy was unable to shower unattended and has to take naps throughout the day.
It is recommended that individuals that believe they, or a family member, have been left disabled or suffering following a vaccination, be it for swine flu or something else, speak with a specialist personal injury lawyer at Blackwater Law.
Call 0800 083 5500 today for free initial advice.