IN-DEPTH: The COVID-19 Vaccine Victims Demanding Compensation Reform

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Sixty-three cases against AstraZeneca will be heard at the High Court from May but support groups say ’thousands’ of people are shut out from claiming damages.

People whose lives and health have been destroyed following the COVID-19 jabs are calling for the government compensation scheme to be overhauled, as thousands have been rejected for not meeting the 60 percent threshold for disability.

Many who have lost loved ones or been left with life-changing injuries say they are also shut out of an ongoing class action against AstraZeneca because they have the “wrong” type of damage, as the current civil action only deals with 63 cases of people who suffered a particular type of vaccine harm known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).

The founder of a legal support fund for victims of vaccine damage, Alex Kelly, told The Epoch Times she is constantly contacted by people who believe their health problems or the sudden deaths of family members were caused by the jabs, and that injury is far from “rare,” despite the constant insistence in the media and from the government that those harmed are “the unlucky few.”

Ms. Alex Kelly’s “beautiful, strong, and spirited” mother, Anthea Kelly, a former nurse in the Royal Air Force, took the jab against her instinct because “she just didn’t want anyone to worry about her.”

The 71-year-old died just four days after she had a single AstraZeneca jab in January 2021.

“She knew something was wrong because of her medical background—she said you don’t just whack out a vaccine like that. But you don’t expect to die.”

‘Deaths Are Being Swept Under the Carpet’

The family had to fight for an inquest, after the coroner initially didn’t want to hold one, although the pathologist found Ms. Anthea Kelly’s death was caused by the vaccine. The lawyer Peter Todd helped to secure the inquest, which eventually allowed the family to receive the flat-rate compensation from the government’s Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS).

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In Ms. Alex Kelly’s opinion, the authorities are looking to put anything other than vaccine-induced causes of death on people’s certificates, possibly fearful of an “avalanche” of legal action.

Ms. Alex Kelly said: “There is a massive problem in this country with the coroners. If you look at the vaccine injured, they have literally [got] the A to Z of injuries—therefore that equates to deaths.”

“We have so many people coming into the group with deaths that are not being looked at … So many types of injuries and deaths … so many deaths being swept under the carpet.”

She said that although AstraZeneca has received the worst press, “We are seeing Pfizer injuries, Moderna injuries, all of them … The vaccine injured have just been left to rot.”

Ms. Alex Kelly said she will never take any vaccine again, and finds it “ridiculous” that many media reports—even when acknowledging severe injuries and deaths—still lead into the piece by praising the jabs and continue to use the term “anti-vaxxer” in a derogatory way.

‘The Biggest Lie’

“Even if someone is an anti-vaxxer, so what? Let them have that choice. Is that all they can come up with? It’s rare, they say … Well, it’s not rare. We’ve got excess deaths. We’ve got people injured and they don’t know if they’ll ever work again, we’ve got suicides because they can’t take it any more.

“We’ve got miscarriages, we’ve got all sorts going on. I mean, what have they done? It was not safe and effective. This is the biggest lie that I think has ever been told.”

Anthea Kelly in Southwold, Suffolk, in 2020. (Courtesy of Alex Kelly)
Anthea Kelly in Southwold, Suffolk, in 2020. (Courtesy of Alex Kelly)

Jules Serkin, a radio presenter from Kent whose food-related shows have appeared on the BBC, said the neurological damage she suffered after a single AstraZeneca jab has taken over her life and left her thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Within two hours of her jab in March 2021, she had to go to bed, shaking and shivering and with an excruciating headache. Her symptoms worsened to the point she had to go to hospital, where she was subsequently diagnosed with inflammation to the brain.

Ms. Serkin’s wide-ranging symptoms affect her balance—causing her to walk into walls at times—as well as her speech and memory. She suffers from extreme fatigue and has developed Bell’s palsy, causing her face to fall on one side.

After the NHS failed to offer her any effective treatment, Ms. Serkin turned to homeopathy and uses a range of supplements, spending “thousands” on a protocol which she says has helped somewhat.

‘She Was Normally a Botox Practitioner’

“One neurologist told me I should never have had the vaccine because I have an auto-immune condition, I have low thyroid [function],” she said, adding that her medical history was not taken at the repurposed cinema in Canterbury where she had the jab.

“The woman who injected me told me she was normally a Botox practitioner. The only question I was asked was, ‘Are you feeling well today?’”

Ms. Serkin said she was eager for the vaccine initially, but won’t be having any more vaccines in future and will look into the safety of childhood vaccines on behalf of her grandchildren.

“You cannot call me an anti-vaxxer because I had it. I am a ’regret vaxxer.’”

She has just applied for the compensation, but doesn’t expect to receive it because she knows people who have had claims rejected despite being diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a serious neurological condition that can cause paralysis and death.

Jules Serkin in Canterbury, England, on March 12, 2024. (Courtesy of Jules Serkin)
Jules Serkin in Canterbury, England, on March 12, 2024. (Courtesy of Jules Serkin)

‘Using People’s Medical History as an Excuse’

Like Ms. Serkin, Ali Lilley now spends a large portion of her earnings on supplements, having been damaged by Moderna’s mRNA vaccine.

She has been doubly impacted by the vaccine because her brother, Peter Reeves, died at 53 after suffering a severe reaction following the AstraZeneca jab, which he had only taken after pressure from the firm where he worked as a courier.

Both she and her brother had experienced addiction in the past, but both were healthy and had not used drugs for some time before receiving their vaccinations.

Mr. Reeves developed a severe migraine the day after his jab in September 2021, which progressed to stroke-like symptoms. Admitted to Watford General Hospital, he was moved to intensive care and ventilated for 20 days until his life support was turned off.

Ms. Lilley said a neurologist told her brother his symptoms could be vaccine-induced, but other doctors seemed to want to deflect from this possibility.

“They kept asking him if he had taken any drugs, but me and my dad searched his flat and there were no signs of any hard drug use … he was working, he was clean,” she told The Epoch Times.

“Before this, he was full of life, full of energy, and they just didn’t take us seriously, they just didn’t want to know … they fobbed us off.”

A postmortem examination found that Mr. Reeves’s cause of death was “aspiration pneumonia and micro-plasma infection and hypoxic brain injury following a cardiac arrest.” The hospital report into Mr. Reeves’s death stated that “lessons learned” included that “staff should be made aware of the very rare side effect of Guillain-Barré post-vaccination,” but added that this was “not specific to this case.”

The natural remedies and supplements used by Ali Lilley in February 2024. (Courtesy of Ali Lilley)
The natural remedies and supplements used by Ali Lilley in February 2024. (Courtesy of Ali Lilley)

Two months after her brother’s death, Ms. Lilley was told that if she didn’t have the jab by Christmas, her job would be advertised.

“I went out and acted on impulse and had it done,” she said.

Two weeks later, the side-effects began, starting with nerve pains and tingling in her lower back. Her symptoms progressed to tinnitus, extreme exhaustion, and severe pain, until she collapsed at work. In hospital, she was given MRI scans but these came back as normal.

Ms. Lilley now manages her symptoms through a costly range of supplements. She is able to work but has been moved to a less physically demanding clerical role.

She said, “There’s no point [me] applying for the VDPS because one, they will say I’m not 60 percent damaged, and two, they’ll look at my past history.”

Like Ms. Serkin and Ms. Alex Kelly, Ms. Lilley is adamant she will never take another vaccine, and is concerned about proposals to develop mRNA vaccines for other conditions through the government’s 10-year deal with Moderna.

“They cannot put this into children,” she said.

More than 4,000 People Rejected for Compensation

A Freedom of Information request from January revealed that 4,393 people have been rejected by the VDPS, which provides a one-off payment of £120,000 for the injured and bereaved, a sum many say is too low.

More than 290 of the claims were unsuccessful, because although it was not disputed the individuals were damaged by the jabs, the medical assessor found the vaccine had not caused severe enough disablement.

The Vaccine Injured and Bereaved (VIB) group, which represents victims of VITT, said on social media platform X: “We are talking about people with brain damage and injuries, cognitive decline, organ damage and [conditions] including lung disorders, heart failure and liver disease, inability to walk properly, muscle and joint issues, severe fatigue, persistent headaches & migraines.

“Most of these people have lost their jobs and can no longer work. They have been assessed at being below the 60 percent eligibility criteria to receive the payout. So someone who has been assessed as being 59 percent disabled confirmed to be caused by the vaccine will get nothing.”

VIBUK has campaigned for the past three years to reform the VDPS, but say they are “continually” ignored and silenced by the government and on social media.

A page from the post mortem report on Peter Reeves dated Feb. 10, 2022. (Courtesy of Ali Lilley)
A page from the post mortem report on Peter Reeves dated Feb. 10, 2022. (Courtesy of Ali Lilley)

A Product ‘Not Fit for Purpose’

The pharmaceutical companies were given legal indemnity by the government as a condition of bringing the vaccines to market, which in theory means they cannot be sued for injuries caused by the jabs.

However, a current class action lawsuit is being brought against AstraZeneca using the Consumer Protection Act of 1987 as it is claimed its vaccine was a product unfit for purpose.

Following two test cases, solicitors Leigh Day have filed 63 cases in the High Court—all individuals who either died or were left seriously injured owing to VITT. The case management hearing is set to take place in early May.

The UK Covid Vaccine Family is the country’s largest support and advocacy group for those injured or bereaved by the jabs and told The Epoch Times they have not yet found any lawyers willing to represent those who are not diagnosed as having VITT.

In response to reports of the lawsuit, AstraZeneca previously told The Epoch Times that authorities granted full marketing approval based on the “safety profile and efficacy” of the jab.

This week, Sir Christopher Chope MP will attempt to get a second reading of his private member’s bill through the Commons to reform the VDPS, aiming to broaden the criteria under which people can be awarded compensation.

Sir Christopher submitted a question asking the Department of Health for the date the AstraZeneca jab was withdrawn from use. The reply he received from minister Maria Caulfield does not acknowledge any problems with the vaccine and states that the contract with the pharmaceutical giant was ended because its competitors were considered to offer better protection.

The response reads: “AstraZeneca completed its COVID-19  vaccine supply agreement with the Government in 2022. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 vaccine booster programme in September 2021, in line with advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI), the vaccines deployed in the national programme have primarily been mRNA vaccines that were considered to provide a strong booster response.”

Asked about MPs’ activity to help the vaccine damaged, Ms. Alex Kelly said there are a few, notably independent MP Andrew Bridgen and Sir Christopher, who have worked hard to bring the matter to attention, and others, such as Conservative MP Esther McVey, who have been “quietly effective” behind the scenes.

“My mum was a nurse at St. Thomas’s hospital for a while, and it overlooks the Houses of Parliament. And whenever I drive past, I think, yeah, mum’s keeping an eye on them,” she said.

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