AstraZeneca: Vaccine death payout of £120k 'inadequate' - fiancée

  • Published
Zion singingImage source, Vikki Spit
Image caption,
Zion's fiancée said he was healthy and exercised regularly

A woman whose partner died after having an AstraZeneca jab has become the first person to receive compensation over a Covid vaccine death.

Vikki Spit's former rock singer fiancé Zion, 48, of Alston, Cumbria, fell ill eight days after he had his injection and died in May 2021.

She was awarded the maximum settlement of £120,000 but said it was not enough.

The 38-year-old said she had got into debt after losing Zion's earnings and should have had closer to £180,000.

Ms Spit also said she had to wait too long for compensation under the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme 1979, and the amount had not kept track with inflation since the scheme was set up.

Vaccine damage payments available to anyone who has become disabled as a result of having a vaccination and people can also apply on behalf of someone who has died.

The scheme offers one-off, tax-free sums of up to £120,000 and while payments do not affect people's rights to take legal action, they can have implications for their benefits.

Image caption,
Vikki Spit believes Zion may have lived if he had received treatment earlier

Ms Spit called an ambulance for Zion when he began suffering "excruciating" headaches on 13 May last year and he died in Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary six days later.

His death certificate confirmed he died due to complications from the vaccine.

However, it took the NHS Business Services Authority, the Newcastle-based administrators of the compensation scheme, until 17 June this year to make the award.

Ms Spit is now calling on the government to increase the maximum pay-out to better reflect the loss of earnings that a person in their 40s would have made before their retirement.

She said: "I am still heartbroken by the sudden loss of my partner of 21 years, and alongside this emotional trauma, I have also been faced with financial hardship as a result of the loss of Zion's contribution to household finances.

"There just isn't the proper financial aid coming from the government to support those who have lost family to the vaccine."

She also said the compensation did not take into account spiralling inflation.

Ms Spit, who maintains she is not anti-vaccines, said paramedics deemed Zion was suffering from a migraine when they were called to their home.

Image source, Vikki Spit
Image caption,
The couple had be due to get married last year after 21 years together

She said Zion was fit and healthy and would have had a good chance of survival if he had received treatment earlier.

His donated liver and kidneys helped save the lives of three people.

James Bell, medical negligence partner at Hodge Jones and Allen, said: "While I am glad that Vikki has been able to receive some restitution for the hardship she has faced as a result of Zion's death, the scheme simply isn't fit for purpose.

"Not only has the application process been lengthy and inefficient, but the compensation Vikki received fails to reflect and remediate the full economic impact of her fiancé's death."

Image source, Vikki Spit
Image caption,
The couple had been in a rock band before moving to Cumbria

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