I have been diagnosed with a vaccine injury and am no longer able to work. I may not be eligible for the government’s proposed compensation scheme. What can I do?

My name is Alan Steele. I am 54 years old, and I am from Shell Cove in New South Wales, Australia.

What follows is a true story. I have no reason to create a false account of my experience and am in no way an ‘anti-vaxxer’. I also realise there are people in worse and more tragic situations than the one I find myself in. Before all this happened, I was fit and healthy. This experience is true for too many people.

Leading up to September 23rd, 2021, my wife and I had many discussions about whether or not we would have the vaccine. The number of COVID-19 cases in our area was insignificant, so we felt safe in our community. We decided as a family to have minimal contact with people so that our risk of contracting COVID-19 was minimal.

The Decision To Get Vaccinated

As time went by, it became more apparent that we would have to get vaccinated. Firstly, my wife works within the community sector and has to do face-to-face meetings with the general public. Secondly, the thought of one of our family members bringing COVID-19 into our household and possibly infecting each other was a terrible scenario.

We looked at all the data in regards to the possible side effects from the different vaccines. We wanted to get the Pfizer vaccine because it seemed safer to us, but it wasn’t readily available at that time. I called my local pharmacy and found out they just got a shipment of Moderna.

Two days later, we all went in and got our Moderna shots. We all felt fine. My wife had a sore arm, but that was it. I even called a mate of mine and talked him into getting the Moderna shot.

Then six days later, I began to have chest pains, dizziness, shortness of breath and high blood pressure. My blood pressure reached 195/125. I went to my doctor, and he told me to go straight to the hospital, so I did.

My Three Visits to the Hospital

I thought I was going to have a heart attack. After three hospital presentations, countless blood tests, scans, X-rays and stress tests, my condition — as I know it now — was unable to be diagnosed.

Looking back over my discharge notes, I can see the doctors thought they were dealing with a hypertension patient. It was two and a half weeks until I finally got a proper diagnosis from my cardiologist: vaccine-related myocarditis.

I didn’t even know what myocarditis was until my wife pointed out that I had all the symptoms just before my last hospital visit. I asked the doctor during this last visit to the hospital if he thought that I had vaccine-related myocarditis. He said that it was unlikely because I had underlying health problems.

I know my body better than anyone. I’ve had high blood pressure since the early 90s but have never been short of breath when resting. I’ve never experienced heart pain, shortness of breath and dizziness, ever.

Life After My Vaccine Injury

So where does this leave me?

I can’t work. I can’t walk up my stairs without being out of breath. Because I can’t work, I have no income, and people in my situation do not qualify for any emergency payment. The government have a proposed COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme. Proposed.

The criteria to be eligible for this proposed scheme are as follows.

For claims between $5,000 and $20,000, claimants need to have been hospitalised for at least one night, will need to nominate they are seeking less than $20,000, and provide applicable evidence of:

  • the nature of the injury and medical documentation of its likely relationship to a COVID-19 vaccination
  • hospitalisation due to a vaccine-related injury
  • medical costs
  • lost wages

So, you might receive support if your doctor will confirm that the injury is linked to the vaccine and if you spent one night in hospital. But I see a few issues with this.

I think doctors are very reluctant to formally draw a link. I was in and out of the hospital three times. Twice I was there for around five hours. My last visit to the hospital began at 9pm one night, and I was discharged from the ER the following morning, but was I formally admitted? Will this count as a night in the hospital?

Unanswered Questions

People like myself who suffer a vaccine injury are being thrown onto the scrap heap: no income, no assistance. Just the hope of a proposed claims scheme that you may not even qualify for.

How long until I recover from this myocarditis? Will it be weeks or months? How long can I last without an income because I can’t work? What will be the long-term damage to my health?

The way I see it, people need immediate financial help. Why wouldn’t a formal diagnosis from a cardiologist be enough to qualify? If the hospital didn’t or wouldn’t admit you for an overnight stay, you will not be eligible.

Answers to these questions are yet to be forthcoming. Either way, I hope that my story can help prompt those who are in a position to make a difference.

Image by Matthew Osborn on Unsplash.