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First narcolepsy cases receive compensation

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First narcolepsy cases receive compensation
08:00 CEST+02:00
The first children in Sweden who fell ill with the sleeping disorder narcolepsy after being given the swine flu vaccination Pandemrix, have been awarded 50,000 kronor ($7,340) in compensation.

“It is difficult for me to say if 50,000 kronor is a lot or too little. We have nothing to compare it to, “ said Herman Afzelius, father of 10-year-old Arvid, who suffers from the disease after getting the swine flu shot, to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

In total, 118 children and youngsters have reported being struck by the disease after the vaccination drive in 2009 and 2010.

Twelve families have so far been told they will receive compensation, according to DN.

According to Anders Öhlen, the CEO of insurance company Läkemedelsförsäkringen, the amount is in line with other severe illnesses, such as deafness or paralysis.

The families will also be reimbursed the costs for treatment, medications and journeys to and from hospital.

However, it will be several years before the children and their families will know whether they will receive any additional compensation.

When the children turn 18, a new medical assessment will decide if they are eligible for any other financial recompense.

“If that will be the case, we will pay out a one off payment, which will vary from case to case. We’ll also reimburse any potential loss of earnings,” said Öhlén to DN.

The insurance company has earmarked 150 million kronor for the children suffering from narcolepsy as a consequence of the vaccinations.

It will take ten years before the Afzelius family knows how the disease will affect Arvid’s ability to enter the labour market.

“By the time he should receive compensation, there might not be any money left, so we think it goes without saying that the state should step in and cover the rest,” said Afzelius to DN.

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