MMR CASH FIGHT BLOW
By Charles Heslett
A MOTHER whose daughter went into a coma just a week after having the MMR
jab has lost her bid for compensation.
Cheryl Bell was told by the Government's Vaccine Damage Payment Unit that
the combined measles, mumps and rubella jab was not responsible for daughter
Levi Ellis's coma after she was given the jab at her local GP's surgery.
In February, Mrs Bell, 35, was also among hundreds of parents who lost their
bid for legal aid to fight a compensation case involving alleged harm caused
to their children by the MMR injection.
She had lodged her personal compensation case to the vaccine unit, which
pays parents of children affected by NHS vaccines up to £100,000.
The single mum-of-three, of Glass Houghton, Castleford, said: "I can appeal
against the VDPU's decision.
"This is not about getting compensation for me but for Levi. With February's
decision there's no legal aid for us and there's no-one fighting our cases.
"People still have had no explanation why their children have had these
reactions after having the injections."
Levi, now nearly five, was just three when she began shaking uncontrollably
and lapsed into unconsciousness exactly a week after having the jab.
She was admitted to intensive care at Pontefract General Infirmary and only
came round 24 hours later.
Cheryl said: "At first she had fits, lapses of concentration and difficulty
with her speech and was underweight. But in the last couple of months the
fits and lapses have gone. She's bad tempered and has a bowel disorder but
she's getting better."
Cheryl, whose sons Stephen, 19, and Nathan, nine, both had the same jabs
without any effects, added: "I have medical papers from the time that say
her cerebral fit was an adverse effect of the jab and now they're saying
it's not. We need to know the facts so parents can decide whether to choose
the MMR injection or single jabs."
Uptake rates of the combined vaccine have plummeted since a controversial
report in 1998 hinted at a link to bowel and behavioural disorders including
Earlier this month 10 of the 13 doctors who helped to write the paper issued
a partial retraction.