ANYONE severely disabled as a result of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be entitled to a one-off tax-free payment of £120,000.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be added to the UK Government's Vaccine Damages Payments Act tomorrow, ahead of its roll out next week.

This is done routinely for any vaccines used in NHS immunisation programmes.

Severe allergic reactions to vaccines are extremely rare.

In comparison, there have been 64 million known Covid cases to date and nearly 1.5 million deaths.

Between 1978 and April 2017, there were 936 successful claims for a vaccine damage in the UK at a cost of just over £74 million to taxpayers.

The payment can affect welfare benefits, such universal credit or housing benefit, and is not an acceptance of negligence.

Pfizer and AstraZeneca - the pharmaceutical commercial partner behind the Oxford vaccine - have both been granted protection from future product liability claims related to their Covid-19 vaccines. It means patients cannot sue for damages. 

Speaking to Reuters about the agreement in July, Ruud Dobber, a member of Astra’s senior executive team, said: “This is a unique situation where we as a company simply cannot take the risk if in ... four years the vaccine is showing side effects.

“In the contracts we have in place, we are asking for indemnification.

"For most countries it is acceptable to take that risk on their shoulders because it is in their national interest.”

More than 30,000 people in Scotland are expected to receive the vaccination in the first round, which is scheduled to get underway next Tuesday.

Priority will be given to vaccinators first, before being expanded to older adults in care homes, frontline NHS and social care workers, and all over-80s.

The UK will be the first country is the world to begin administering the vaccine, after it passed safety and efficacy checks by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The MHRA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine today, saying it is up to 95% effective in preventing disease and safe following large-scale clinical trials involving thousands of adult volunteers.