Officials of the Vaccine Injury Support Program (VISP) said that of 774 claims received, eight received compensation, 71 were deemed ineligible and 654 are still under review.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the Ministry of Health would not disclose information on the amount of compensation paid so far. The program is expected to provide a total of $75 million to claims made by families of those who have died or been injured by Covid vaccines through 2026.
“Payments for those with a serious and permanent injury from a vaccine will be retroactive to the date of the injury,” said a June 23 Health Department briefing note.
“Eligible individuals may receive income replacement benefits, injury benefits, death benefits, including coverage for funeral expenses and reimbursement for eligible costs such as otherwise uncovered medical expenses.”
The health department has reported 48,670 adverse events including 9,878 rated as “serious” out of nearly 86 million doses of Covid vaccine administered to date. Adverse events could include milder symptoms such as headaches or chest pain, while serious consequences could include heart inflammation or facial paralysis.
Guillain-Barré syndrome has been reported in eight cases, including BC resident Ross Wightman. Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), characterized by blood clotting, has been reported in 105 people after vaccination. 1097 reports included cases of myocarditis/pericarditis, an inflammation of the heart or the lining around it.
A total of 355 deaths have been reported following vaccination.
The health department’s senior medical adviser, Dr Supirya Sharma, said last December that the long-term effects of Covid vaccines are not yet known.
“The benefits outweigh the potential risks, but this is still a drug and still a vaccine and there are potential risks even though they are rare,” Sharma said. “That’s why we continue to monitor him.”
Last year, Julian Scholefield of British Columbia was diagnosed with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), where inflammation of the brain and spinal cord damages protective nerve fibers, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Scholefield was unable to work due to the injury and is on disability. A GoFundMe started by his wife Angela helped raise money for basic needs like a wheelchair, physical therapy and an elevator for his house.
The BC Center for Disease Control (BCCDC) said on its website that conditions can occur up to six weeks after vaccination. Side effects can occur from vaccines and “vaccine safety is continuously monitored to identify any serious adverse events”.
Scholefield is still awaiting government compensation after applying for the VISP in October 2021.