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Vaccination: Compensation

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many payments have been made under the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme in each year since its inception; and for which vaccines the payment was awarded in each case. (216559)

The number of payments made under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979, in each financial year since 1979 is listed in the following table.

The Department does not hold information about the specific vaccines linked to a successful vaccine damage payment claim. Claimants are asked to specify on the claim form all the vaccinations the disabled person received. However, as many vaccinations can be given in close proximity to each other it is not always possible to state categorically which vaccine caused the adverse reaction. Where a payment is made disability is not attributed to any specific vaccination.

Vaccine damage payments: awards made in each year since 1978-79

Year (1 April to 31 March)

Number of payments made

1978-79

36

1979-80

317

1980-81

256

1981-82

68

1982-83

38

1983-84

40

1984-85

36

1985-86

24

1986-87

17

1987-88

10

1988-89

3

1989-90

3

1990-91

1

1991-92

7

1992-93

13

1993-94

3

1994-95

7

1995-96

6

1996-97

5

1997-98

3

1998-99

0

1999-2000

4

2000-01

2

2001-02

3

2002-03

5

2003-04

5

2004-05

4

2005-06

5

2006-07

4

2007-08

2

Total

927

Note:

When the scheme was established in 1978 there was a large backlog of cases that had to be dealt with. This accounts for the large number of awards made in the early years of the scheme. One of the main reasons for the decline, over time, in the number of awards made is that medical knowledge and understanding has significantly advanced since 1978. Additionally, many reliable research papers since then have demonstrated that a clear link between vaccines and adverse reactions, sufficient to accept causation on the balance of probabilities, is not as great as had been previously thought.