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AstraZeneca Vaccine death payout claimed to be inadequate as cost of living spirals


A woman whose partner died after having an AstraZeneca jab has become the first person to receive compensation following 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 is not enough as she had got into debt after losing Zion's earnings and should have received closer to £180,000.

Ms Spit, 38, added that she had to wait too long for compensation under the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme 1979, and the amount of the award had not kept pace with inflation since the scheme was launched, or the current extreme spike.

Vaccine damage payments are available to anyone who has become disabled as a result of having a vaccination. Applications can also be made 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 benefit payments.

Ms Spit called an ambulance for Zion after he started with "excruciating" headaches on May 13 2021. He died in Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary six days later.

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

However, it took Newcastle-based administrators of the compensation scheme, the NHS Business Services Authority, until 17 June 2022 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 aged in their 40s would have accrued up to 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."

Ms Spit, who does not oppose the use of vaccines, said paramedics judged that Zion was suffering from a migraine when they were called to their home.

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