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Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme – media fact sheet

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Coronavirus (COVID-19), Vaccinations and Immunisations

All vaccines being used in the UK have undergone robust clinical trials and have met the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.

As of 30 April, more than 146 million Covid vaccines have been administered in England and billions worldwide, helping to protect people from serious illness and saving countless lives.

The Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS) provides a one-off tax free payment, currently £120,000, to successful applicants where, on very rare occasions, a vaccine has caused severe disablement. 

Here’s an overview of the VDPS – for more information go to Vaccine Damage Payment: Overview - GOV.UK (

What is the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme?

  • The Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS) provides a one-off tax free payment of £120,000 to successful applicants where, in extremely rare circumstances, vaccination has caused severe disablement.
  • There is a range of other support, including financial, available to disabled people in the UK, for example, free healthcare, social care support and disability benefits.

  Who is eligible?

  • To qualify an applicant needs to meet three main criteria:
    • To claim against a vaccine for a disease specifically listed in the VDPS
    • To prove, on the balance of probabilities, that the vaccine caused the disability in question
    • To be assessed as being at least 60% disabled as a result of the vaccine. This must be according to the definition of ‘severe disablement’ in the Department for Work and Pension’s Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
  • The assessment is carried out by independent medical assessors who are registered with the General Medical Council and have a licence to practice.
  • For full information visit

What are you doing to speed up claims?

  • We have already scaled up and modernised the operations of the VDPS to allow cases to be processed more quickly, including digitising the application process and increasing the number of administration staff twenty-fold - from 4 to 80.
  • We have ensured each claimant has a named caseworker, receives regular updates on the progress of their claim and is given a more detailed outcome response to help claimants better understand decisions made.
  • The government will continue to focus on improving the operations of the VDPS, and ensuring claimants receive outcomes as soon as is possible.

Are Covid-19 vaccines safe?

  • All vaccines used in the UK must go through the usual rigorous testing and development process and meet strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness by the independent medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
  • The public should be very confident that all tests are completed to the highest of standards. The monitoring of vaccine safety does not stop once a vaccine has been approved - the safety continues to be monitored continually using well developed and pre-existing surveillance networks, such as MHRA’s Yellow Card scheme.
  • Billions of Covid vaccines have been administered worldwide and have helped to save countless lives.

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