British Columbia man gets COVID-19 vaccine injury payout

Ross Wightman has kept his focus on small victories in the year since he became partially paralysed, from climbing the stairs without assistance to going for a solo walk near his rural B.C. home.

The most significant victory, however, came in the form of an e-mail from Canada's Vaccine Injury Support Program (VISP) that confirmed what he had suspected all along: that his condition was most likely caused by the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

"That was quite reassuring," Wightman said from his Okanagan Valley Lake Country home.

"Having it in hand, on paper, and acknowledging it has been gratifying."

Wightman was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), a rare neurological condition, just days after receiving his first and only dose of the vaccine.

The disease can result in paralysis, muscle weakness, and even death.

A man from British Columbia who had a rare and severe reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine is still waiting for an exemption and government assistance.

"Every day is a grind," said Wightman, who still has significant mobility issues in his arms and legs.

Wightman is now one of only a few Canadians to be approved for a COVID-19 vaccine injury benefit, according to the letter he received.  He declined to share his total allotment with CBC News due to privacy concerns, but he did say the maximum payout under the programme is approximately $284,000.  Wightman stated that he did not qualify for the entire amount.


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