CHRISTCHURCH MP Sir Christopher Chope is pressing the government to commit to supporting those who suffer serious side affects from Covid vaccines.

Sir Christopher's Covid-19 Vaccine Damage Bill is one of 11 private members bills tabled by the backbench Conservative that feature on Friday's House of Commons order paper for a potential second reading.

If it was passed, the Covid-19 Vaccine Damage Bill would "require the secretary of state to establish an independent review of disablement caused by Covid-19 vaccinations and the adequacy of the compensation offered to persons so disabled; and for connected purposes".

Asked about the bill, which is still some way from coming close to becoming law, Sir Christopher told the Daily Echo: “My Covid vaccines compensation bill has attracted a lot of interest because of the number of people who have experience adverse consequences following vaccination.

“My bill is designed to try and ensure that those people are able to access proper compensation from the government for the adverse consequences that they suffer and that is the basis of the existing vaccine damage scheme but the government is being very slow to apply it in practice to all of those cases who have had this arising from the Covid-19 vaccine including the booster.

“If you are keen, as I am, to promote vaccine confidence amongst the people, the government needs to say if you do the right thing and accept the vaccination or your children have a vaccine and it turns out to go all wrong then we will do the best way we can to put you back to where you should have been – in other words compensate you.”

The bill has already had a 20-minute debate in the House of Commons earlier in the year.

Sir Christopher said off the back of this he was contacted by people around the world and he secured a meeting with vaccines minister Maggie Throup MP.

“She was positive," said Sir Christopher. "She said she would read through my dossier and she conceded that government does accept that there people who have suffered and continue to suffer adverse consequences from the vaccine.

"But she wasn’t prepared to commit the government to the no fault compensation scheme which I recommend because it makes it much more straightforward and reduces the bureaucracy.

“The government is sympathetic but I think it is conflicted because they don’t want public discussion about the adverse consequences that can occur from a vaccination as they think that is going to undermine vaccine confidence.

“My view, and this is a view which is reflected in the decisions that have been taken for example in Australia, is that what is happening in the real world is people realise that there are potential problems with the vaccine and so by facing up to that and saying for our one in a few hundred thousand people who is unfortunate enough to suffer the government will come to your rescue.”

The vaccines approved in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Reports of serious side-effects have been “very rare” and there is no evidence that the vaccine has any effect on chances of becoming pregnant, the NHS says.

In response to a written question by Sir Christopher, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed it had received 437 applications under the existing Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 in respect of Covid-19 vaccines. All applications had been acknowledged and no applications had been rejected.

The response from Chloe Smith MP, minister for disabled people, health and work, said: "Side effects of Covid-19 vaccines are rare and scientific understanding is continuing to grow.

"Following discussion with Department of Health and Social Care, DWP have now started the evidence gathering process for Covid-19 claims to allow the clinical assessment to happen, where the evidence has reached a position where a decision can be confidently made."

A government spokesperson said: "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.

“The vaccine damage payments scheme provides additional support to help ease the burden on individuals who have, in extremely rare circumstances, been severely disabled due to receiving a government-recommended vaccine for a listed disease.

“We would urge anyone who still hasn’t yet taken up the offer of a jab to come forward.”

Anyone who suspects they have experienced a side effect linked with their COVID-19 vaccine is encouraged to report it to the Coronavirus Yellow Card website.

COVID-19 vaccines have been added to the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme, or VDPS. An established system that has been in place for over 40 years. 

The Government’s decision to add COVID-19 to this scheme means support payments can be made available, once the scientific evidence on the possible causal links between the COVID-19 vaccines and instances of disablement reaches a more settled position.

Sir Christopher's other private members bills on the order paper for second reading on Friday, November 19, are:

  • Children’s Clothing (Value Added Tax) Bill
  • NHS England (Alternative Treatment) Bill
  • Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 (Amendment) Bill
  • Public Sector Exit Payments (Limitation) Bill
  • Green Belt (Protection) Bill
  • Caravan Sites Bill
  • Caravan Site Licensing (Exemptions of Motor Homes) Bill
  • British Broadcasting Corporation (Privatisation) Bill
  • BBC Licence Fee Non-Payment (Decriminalisation for Over-75s) Bill
  • Channel 4 (Privatisation) Bill