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Monday 26th August 2019

MMR vaccine 'caused deafness'

5th September 2012

A woman who proved she was made deaf in one ear after receiving the MMR jab as a child has had her injury compensation refused by the Vaccine Damages Payment Unit.


Katie Stephen became deaf in her left ear after she was given the jab as a 15-month old in 1991. She was deemed not to be eligible for the £120,000 payout because the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) only pays if a vaccine causes 60% or higher levels of disability. 

The DWP's definition of deafness in one ear is a 20% level of disablement. A person who went deaf in both ears after receiving the jab did receive compensation in a case brought prior to Ms Stephen's claim.

Paul Breckell, chief executive of Action on Hearing Loss, said: "We are disappointed that the formula used by the Vaccine Damage Payments Unit does not fully recognise the impact for Katie in completely losing the hearing in her left ear." 

According to the Times, Ms Stephen's medical records showed she received a "rogue" jab for the Urabe type of mumps, which 5.4 million children in Britain were given between 1988-1992.

It said there were 10 cases of deafness which were "formally recorded" following the jab.

 Director of Immunisation Professor David Salisbury said: "It is important that parents get their child vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella - all of which are highly infectious."

"Uptake rates for the MMR vaccine are at their highest level for 10 years and it is the best way to protect children against all three infections."

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