THE case of a ten-year-old boy whose life was "turned upside down" as a result of having the swine flu vaccination has been brought up in Parliament.
Ben Foy, from Strensall, can suddenly fall asleep and often collapses as a result of narcolepsy and cataplexy brought on by the vaccination he was given in 2010.
The family's MP Julian Sturdy has spoken about Ben's situation in Parliament to accuse government Ministers of having an unsympathetic approach to people who have suffered life-changing side effects from vaccinations.
The eligibility criteria for the Government’s Vaccine Damage Payments scheme has meant Ben is classed as disabled as a result of the vaccination - but not sufficiently enough to receive a one off compensation payment from the government.
Under the present rules, a person must be assessed as being 60 per cent disabled, according the industrial injuries scale, which is the equivalent to the amputation of a leg below the knee.
Mr Sturdy said: “The Department for Work and Pensions has acknowledged that there is a link between Ben’s swine flu vaccination and the development of narcolepsy and cataplexy. The department appears to acknowledge that he is disabled as a result, as Ben is in receipt of disability living allowance, but it is saying that his case is not severe enough and there are no grounds for that disability compensation. As can be imagined, the family feel that that is a complete insult.”
In response, the Health Minister, Jane Ellison MP, said it would not be appropriate for her to comment.
Speaking after the debate, Mr Sturdy said: “I am deeply disappointed that the Minister has refused to reconsider this outdated legislation to ensure it is fair on families like Ben’s. Their worlds been turned completely upside down simply because they followed the established advice at the time in getting vaccinated with Pandermix. For the Government to say that his disability is not severe enough to entitle him to the payment is an insult to all those who know Ben and have seen how his quality of life has been affected. I have written to the Minister to ensure she is aware of our disappointment and to again urge her to reconsider the Government’s approach.”
Ben Foy’s grandfather, Brian Hamilton added: “We all recognise the importance of vaccination programmes which are designed to protect public health, however in the rare occasions when there is an adverse reaction to the vaccine the Government has a responsibility to ensure these children are taken care of, thereby maintaining the credibility of the programme.
"The vaccine damage payment scheme was set up for exactly that reason. The DWP have lost their case in a lower tribunal, they have lost the case in the higher tribunal, they have had an appeal turned down by the higher tribunal and now have made an appeal to the court of appeal. As Julian has stated the Government’s approach is callous. The next time there is a threat of a pandemic situation the take up of a vaccination scheme may be very low creating a serious threat to public health. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Julian and his team for his continued support and help for representing our and other children's cases.”