Britain will compensate citizens for any COVID-19 vaccine side effects

Britain is set to provide payments to any citizen who experiences adverse side effects as a result of taking a coronavirus vaccine, the country announced Thursday.

Pfizer and BioNTech will begin distributing their vaccines in the country soon, prompting the British government to line up precautionary measures.

The country is making plans to add COVID-19 to its list of diseases that are covered under its Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme (VDPS), which typically covers vaccines that are administered as part of a childhood immunization program. An exception is being made for the coronavirus vaccine due to the fact that it will be given to many adults, according to a press release.


VDPS has been around since 1979 and has provided coverage of side effects of vaccinations for HPV, Meningitis B.,  H1N1, as well as several others.

“We are extremely confident in the effectiveness and safety of our immunisation programmes. We will not be rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine unless it has met robust standards of safety, effectiveness and quality and authorised for use by the medicines regulator, the MHRA,” Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, said in a release.

People who are covered under VDPS will receive a tax-free lump sum of up to £120,000 (about $161,676) in the event that they can prove that a vaccine caused a severe disability, the release states.

All of the claims that are fielded through the VDPS program have to be vetted before they are accepted.