Anthony Shingler, 58, received the £120,000 tax-free payout on Tuesday after his wife, Nicola, applied for the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme more than a year ago.
Image: Pete Stonier)
A fit and healthy father who says he was left ‘paralyzed by the Covid vaccine’ in a rare reaction has won a £120,000 payout in what is thought to be a UK first.
Anthony Shingler, 58, recently returned home to his family after spending 420 days in hospital.
He suffered severe pain alongside pins and needles days after receiving his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in March last year.
The former security guard was taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital in Staffordshire, where he was placed on a ventilator before being transferred to Haywood Hospital last November.
He was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) – a very rare and serious condition in which a person’s own immune system attacks the nerves and which can sometimes lead to paralysis.
Anthony has now received a tax-free payment of £120,000 after his wife, Nicola Shingler, applied for the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS) in May 2021.
He said StokeonTrentLive “I’m happy to have received the amount. I’m relieved because it relieves us a bit of the stress with the bills and everything. It gives us a chance to pay back what we have borrowed.
“We will have to adapt the bathroom so that I have a walk-in shower because the minute I have to intervene so I cannot use it because it is too high. This money will allow us to have the shower room and to use the bathroom.
“At the moment, there is no chance that I will return to work.”
The scheme provides a one-time payment for people who have become severely disabled as a result of vaccination.
To be eligible, an applicant must be 60% disabled and provide medical proof from doctors.
Anthony, from Northwood, continued: “I don’t consider this a retirement fund because it isn’t. It is far from sufficient. I still have at least seven to ten years of professional life to go. It was my plan to do it, but I don’t see it happening.
“I will recover for the next three years. I will need specialized equipment to improve my quality of life. We may need to purchase a stairlift as it is currently rented out by charity. It would cost around £5,000 to buy.
Pete Stonier / Stoke Sentinel)
“My advice to others is to keep fighting, it’s a long process but apply for the program. Get regular updates and make sure you have your medical records and review them yourself.”
Nicola found out through a phone call on Tuesday that Anthony would receive the payment – more than a year after applying.
The 49-year-old said: “Anthony was in hospital when I made the request. The process was horrible all the way, it was a battle. The system was not set up to take supports people who make complaints.
“If you don’t have one of the two criteria, you may not receive anything – the bar is set too high.”
Figures show that in the year to January, 499 cases of GBS linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine were identified, including five fatalities.
Nicola added: “£120,000 seems like a lot but for people who have kids to raise it doesn’t really make up for it. Tony has already lost a full year’s salary.
“It’s not something that we can look to the future and think it’s going to help if he doesn’t return to work. We cannot examine it to compensate for personal pain and suffering.
“We really don’t know how long Tony is going to be like he is and that’s the hardest part. The doctors don’t know either.
“I had to fight for it. It was so stressful for me. It gave us some breathing room financially because I was always worrying about paying the bills.
“There’s still a lot of hard work we have with Tony with the physical aspect and the care. It’s something we didn’t expect to do – we had to fight 13 months for it.
“We believe this is the first case of GBS in the UK to be awarded. We hope this will give other sufferers a glimmer of hope.”
Most people usually recover from GBS within six months to a year, according to the NHS, but around one in five people end up with long-term problems such as the inability to walk without assistance.
Pete Stonier / Stoke Sentinel)
In an online article about GBS in 2020, the health department said, “In the past, vaccinations (especially the flu vaccine used in the United States during a 1976 swine flu epidemic) were linked to an increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome.
The Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) monitors all potential side effects reported to it.
Various coronavirus vaccines have been approved and more than 50 million people in the UK have now received at least one dose.
Pfizer, Astra-Zeneca and Moderna have all developed safe and effective jabs that can significantly reduce a person’s risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Since the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) took over the administration of the VDPS from the DWP in November 2021, DHSC and NHSBSA have worked together to improve the VDPS to make the process simpler, faster and more accessible for applicants.
“NHSBSA is now improving the claimant journey by making it faster, more accessible, and with clearer and more regular communication about the status of their claim. This includes digitizing and modernizing the process, including the VDPS application form.
“The VDPS is not designed to cover all expenses associated with a severe disability. It is not a compensation scheme. Rather, it is a payment to recognize that the person may have been injured by having received a vaccine.”