Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:19 pm on 2 March 2022.

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Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 7:19, 2 March 2022

I am not going to commit tonight to increasing the payment—I think that is above my pay grade. Perhaps we can discuss that further when we meet.

I reassure people watching the debate and right hon. and hon. Members that the safety of the covid vaccine and its benefits outweigh any adverse events that may be caused by it. With any medicine—even a simple paracetamol—if people look at the yellow forms and the side effects mentioned on the leaflet in the packet, they will see that there are always side effects. We want to reassure people that the vaccine is still a safe and effective way of protecting them and their loved ones from the virus. However, where there have been concerns, we need to identify causal links and, if they are established, as my hon. Friend Alicia Kearns pointed out, we must be better at supporting people. I am very keen to do that.

Although these vaccines have been with us for nearly two years, they are still new in the lifespan of medicines and we are still learning about both their efficacy and their side effect profile. Each vaccine is assessed by a team of scientists and clinicians on a case-by-case basis. We are acting at pace, although it can feel like a long time for people affected by side effects. I will meet my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch to discuss the matter further. I am keen to get support and payment in place for those affected, if we can, as quickly as possible.

Question put and agreed to.

House adjourned.