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South Australian vaccine-affected public servant wins legal victory over government

3 February 2024 23:59 (UTC+04:00)
South Australian vaccine-affected public servant wins legal victory over government

South Australian vaccine-affected public servant wins legal victory over government, Azernews reports, citing Australian news agency.

44-year-old Daniel Shepherd developed pericarditis due to a rare reaction to the third dose of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine. The third vaccination was necessary for him to start working for the Department of Child Protection.

The decision was made in mid-January by the South Australian Employment Tribunal.

According to tribunal documents, Mr Shepherd's employer, the South Australian Department of Child Protection (DCP), required him to have a third dose of Pfizer's mRNA-containing Covid-19 vaccine.

Mr Shepherd had the injection on 24 February 2022 and in the following weeks experienced increasing chest pain, leading him to think he was having a heart attack and call an ambulance on 11 March.

Diagnosis revealed post-vaccinal pericarditis, an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart.
Mr Shepherd later filed a claim for weekly allowance and medical expenses, which the state of South Australia initially rejected.

A state employer will pay weekly compensation and medical bills for an Adelaide public servant who developed a heart condition as a result of a reaction to the Covid-19 vaccine, under a landmark ruling.

The state initially disputed the link between the vaccine and the injury, but later accepted that the third dose of the vaccine caused Mr Shepherd's injury and subsequent disability.

Despite accepting that the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine caused Mr Shepherd's injury, the state of South Australia sought to challenge his claim on two grounds.

The state argued that the injury was not related to his employment as defined in the Return to Work Act.The state also argued that the injury was related to a referral under the Emergency Management Act.

According to the state, if the criteria of the Return to Work Act are met, the Emergency Management Act relieves them of any liability related to the injury and also protects them from any acts or oversight in the management of the broader Covid-19 pandemic.

Judge Mark Calligeros, Vice-Chairman of the SA Employment Tribunal, ultimately rejected DCP's arguments.

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