Posted: October 29th, 2021
A swine flu vaccination compensation settlement of €1m has been approved for a 16-year-old girl who claims that she developed a rare sleep disorder and continues to suffer with sleep attacks since she was administered with it.
The High Court was told that the Pandemrix vaccine was given to the now teenage girl when she was just five-years-old.
The girl’s counsel, Jonathan Kilfeather SC, informed the court that his client had been administered with the Pandemrix vaccine in March 2010. Following this, the Judge was informed, she developed narcolepsy and cataplexy which affects the muscles and requires lifelong medication. In order to try and control this affliction she must have two planned naps every day and deal with associated fatigue and anxiety.
Via her mother, the girl took a legal action against the Minister for Health, the HSE, and Glaxosmithkline Biologicals SA (GSK) — the producer of Pandemrix. The State has previously allowed for an indemnity to GSK in relation to any adverse vaccination reactions.
The Court was informed that the girl is hoping to seek work in fashion and art following school but, due to her condition, will only be in a position to work part time. Her mother told the court her daughter suffers with narcolepsy and cataplexy, which impact the muscles, and she experiences sleep attacks that leads to the sudden onslaught of sleep without any previous warning.
The mother told the court: “In preparing for this case the enormity of the challenges facing our daughter in her life is hard to ignore. As a parent you only want the best for your child and this is why we are here today to secure some kind of future for our child which she was robbed of. Our daughter’s strong character will get her through life but we lament the life she could have had.”
Mr Justice Paul Coffey praised the mother for providing her statement and referred to it as “a most chastening summary” adding that he had no reluctance in giving his approval for the swine flu vaccine compensation settlement.
It was agreed, as per the terms of that settlement, that half of the settlement figure would be paid out. The court was earlier informed in relation to the extensive benefits in the settlement which provide educational support, accommodation costs in relation to third-level education, a “gold” medical card as well as childcare costs.
This settlement comes in the aftermath of the November 2020 settlement for a 16-year-old boy which set the way for the resolution of 80 cases over the Pandemrix vaccine.