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Fact Check-Poster about UK vaccine compensation scheme is not from UK government

Social media users are sharing a poster that looks like official British government material, which says Britain’s £120,000 Vaccine Damage Payment scheme applies to people who “weren’t made fully aware of health risks” of COVID-19 vaccines. But the compensation package only applies to people who have been severely disabled as a result of a vaccination.

The post shows a photo of a woman with her head in her hand, being consoled by another, younger woman (here).

Text at the top of the poster reads: “Have you noticed your health declining since receiving the Covid-19 injection?”

Text lower down states: “If you weren’t made fully aware of the health risks from the Covid 19-vaccines, you are entitled to compensation of £120,000.”

The poster also features a link to the British government’s Vaccine Damage Payment scheme (here).

“This is not a parody it's on the government website,” said one user, sharing the poster and a screenshot of the Vaccine Damage Payment scheme page (here).

But the poster does not appear to be an official British government poster, with the scheme only applying to people who have been severely injured by vaccination.

Reuters could not find the image or its caption on the British government’s website.

The poster appears to be a form of imposter content, material which imitates an established organisation or authority, often to spread disinformation (here and here).

The original photo used in the banner can be found on iStock here.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), which is responsible for the policy and legislation that governs the scheme, told Reuters via email that all information on its scope and payment is available on a government webpage here.

Contrary to claims made in the social media post, a person is compensated by the Vaccine Damage Payment if they are “severely disabled as a result of a vaccination against certain diseases”, according to the British government site.

The page states: “If you’re severely disabled as a result of a vaccination against certain diseases, you could get a one-off tax-free payment of £120,000.”

Its eligibility criteria state that someone “could get a payment if you’re severely disabled and your disability was caused by vaccination against" a range of diseases, including COVID-19 (here).

It explains that eligibility as “severely disabled” encompasses a mental or physical disablement and is based on medical evidence from healthcare providers involved in an individual’s treatment.

The website does not mention that a person is entitled to compensation if they weren’t made fully aware of any possible health risks posed by COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccines are considered safe and effective, according to global health authorities and organisations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (here and here).

VERDICT

Misleading imposter content. The Vaccine Damage Payment applies only to people who have been severely disabled as a result of vaccination.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

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