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1979-1987 : Mr Major’s Written Parliamentary Answer on the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme on 15th December 1986.


Mr. Dobson Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was his Department's original estimate of the savings to be made by the introduction of the time limit on the vaccine damage payments scheme.

Mr. Major None. The six-year time limit on claims was included in the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 because of the difficulty of considering claims older than this. But the time limit was not brought into effect until 9 May 1984 in order to give everyone who had suffered vaccine damage since 1948 the opportunity of making a claim.

Mr. Dobson Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give, for each year since the introduction of the vaccine damage payments scheme, the number of awards given under the scheme; and what was the number of claims rejected each year.

Mr. Major The information requested is set out in the following table:


Year | Awards | Rejections

1979 | 349 | 2,199

1980 | 255 | 150

1981 | 74 | 71

1982 | 43 | 54

1983 | 42 | 107

1984 | 29 | 124

1985 | 26 | 75

1986 (1) | 14 | 64

Total | (2) 832 | (2) 2,838


(1) To 14 November.

(2) Includes 432 cases originally rejected but subsequently awarded by a Vaccine Damage Tribunal.

Mr. Dobson Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his Department's estimate of the total number of people severely disabled within the meaning of the Vaccine Damage Payments Act; and what is the estimate for the number less severely damaged as a result of vaccination.

Mr. Major 832 awards have been made on the basis that vaccine damage resulted in severe disablement and there have also been 14 claims involving vaccine damage which were rejected because disablement was not severe. A further 1,637 claims involved severe disablement but were rejected because disablement was not a result of vaccine damage, and in a further 326 rejected claims the cause of disablement was not investigated because disablement was substantially less than severe.

Mr. Dobson Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his Department's estimate of the additional cost of making payments available, on a sliding scale, to everyone disabled as a result of vaccination.

Mr. Major I regret there is insufficient information for any reliable estimates to be made.