Adelaide Man Compensated for COVID-19 Vaccine Reaction

An Adelaide father will receive compensation after he developed a heart condition from the COVID-19 vaccine. Daniel Shepherd, 44, was required to have the vaccine as part of his job with the Department of Child Protection.

This was his third Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and, while the first two made him feel unwell,  he experienced a COVID-19 vaccine reaction – a heart condition linked to the vaccine – with the third booster.

Nearly two years later, Daniel still struggles with the heart condition. 

COVID-19 vaccine reaction leads to compensation

As Daniel tells 9News, he received his first two COVID-19 vaccines in 2021. Both made him feel unwell but he needed to be vaccinated for his job as a youth worker at Baptist Care.

In January 2022, Daniel started a new job with the Department for Child Protection (DCP) where he was mandated to have a booster shot.

He received the third shot on February 24 2022. He was then rushed to the hospital with serious chest pains.  Daniel said it felt like someone was holding a knee down on his chest. 

The pain continued to get worse and in March, Daniel thought he was having a heart attack. He was diagnosed with post-vaccine pericarditis – an inflammation of the pericardium (the thin, sac-like tissue surrounding the heart muscle). The condition affects two in every 100,000 people. 

The COVID-19 vaccine reaction left Daniel out of breath, tired and with chest pains. He was also only able to work for a few months in a part-time administrative capacity. 

Cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccines are rare and mostly reported in males under 40 years of age, after the second dose.

While pericarditis is meant to clear within a few months, Daniel’s symptoms have plagued him for almost two years and has left Daniel with the “heart of a 90-year-old man”.

“Even today with just mild exertion [I get] chest pains and then it’s followed by fatigue, like severe fatigue,” Daniel said, who now struggles to keep up with his five-year-old -son. 

“It’s heartbreaking to have to say, ‘Sorry buddy, daddy’s tired'”.

Father left unable to work

After he was unable to work, the father launched a worker’s compensation claim against the government. While the Department of Child Protection acknowledged the pericarditis was caused by the Pfizer mRNA booster shot, it denied workers’ compensation liability claiming it was excluded under the SA Emergency Management Act.

Judge Mark Calligeros, the SA Employment Tribunal’s deputy president,  rejected the DCP’s arguments, which means that Daniel receives weekly income support payments and the payment of medical expenses due to his COVID-19-related heart condition. 

It is not surprising that some people who receive a dose of Covid-19 vaccine will sustain injury as a result,’ Judge Mark Calligeos wrote in his judgment.

“It would be astonishing if parliament intended that an employee of the state, injured adhering to an EM (Emergency Management) Act direction, was to be precluded from receiving workers compensation.

It would be ironic and unjust if Mr Shepherd was denied financial and medical support by complying with the state’s desire to preserve public health.”

While many employees have dropped the mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, not all have. 

The Australian Government has also implemented a claims scheme to enable eligible claimants who have received a TGA-approved COVID-19 vaccine to obtain compensation for recognised moderate to severe vaccine-related adverse events. You can find out more at reports that there is a link between COVID-19 vaccines and rare side effects of myocarditis and pericarditis. Up-to-date information on cases and rates reported to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is available in its COVID-19 vaccine safety reports

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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