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Maple Ridge woman compensated for mother’s death from COVID-19 vaccine

Frustrated by Canada’s Vaccine Injury Support Program
Franci DuPerron. (Special to The News)

Franci DuPerron of Maple Ridge lost her mother to a COVID-19 vaccination.

She is one of the first people in Canada to be compensated for a family member’s death under Canada’s Vaccine Injury Support Program. The program’s payments are not yet made public.

DuPerron has lived in B.C. since the 1980s. She got a call from a retirement home in Windsor, Ontario, in January of 2021, informing her that her 79-year-old mother had died.

Her mother had received a Moderna vaccine. Ten minutes later, she was having a hard time breathing. Soon she was unconscious. A nurse administered two EpiPens – one in a leg, and one in an arm, but they couldn’t save her.

“She was gone in 15 minutes.”

It had been a severe anaphylactic shock, despite the fact that she had never had an allergic reaction in the past.

“I was stunned,” said DuPerron. “I couldn’t wrap my head around it.”

DuPerron said she is not an anti-vaxxer, but she would like to see more transparency around the vaccines and their effects. Very little has been reported about her mother’s death, she said.

Her mom had pre-existing conditions – she had suffered with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema and diabetes. So she was nervous about getting the jab. They talked the day before, and DuPerron said with her health issues, her mom could be at high risk if she contacted COVID-19.

After her mother’s death from the vaccine, DuPerrron spoke to a lawyer. She and learned that the vaccine companies could not be held liable, because the vaccines were developed under emergency use conditions.

But the lawyer did tell her about the Vaccine Injury Support Program, and DuPerron wants other people to be aware that it is out there.

The program started in June of 2021. So far it has 774 claims, and most are still being processed. Just eight claims are reported to have been approved by the program’s medical review board.

More statistics area available online.

READ ALSO: Omicron vaccine available to most in B.C. by end of October, say Dix and Bonnie Henry

DuPerron believes her case went through the process comparatively quickly – she was compensated in February of this year – because it was such a clear-cut case. Her mother stopped breathing and died within minutes of being injected with the vaccine. The coroner’s report and autopsy confirmed she had died from an allergic reaction to the vaccine.

“There was no doubt in anyone’s mind it was the vaccine that killed her,” she said.

Still, it was a long and frustrating process. For example, she was asked by officials to present her mother’s vaccine passport, even though she had died months before that program even started. DuPerron is dubious about someone suffering from symptoms after getting a vaccine being able to get compensation.

DuPerron said nobody in Canada will get rich from the Vaccine Injury Support Program. She had been hoping to get just $8,000 to cover funeral expenses. The amount was significantly more than that, although she cannot say how much. She said it’s irrelevant.

“The amount of money I got from my mom… what dollar amount can you put on a life? There is no price.”

She gave most of the payment to family.

What happened to her mother has been reported as being rare. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, out of the first 4 million doses of Moderna vaccine in that country, there were 1,266 adverse events reported, and 108 were identified for severe allergic reactions.

DuPerron is an unflappable person. She was a career cop – just the second woman to serve as an RCMP officer at a busy Williams Lake detachment in the 1980s. But she wasn’t about to take the Moderna vaccine.

She has gotten the first two Pfizer vaccines, and a booster. It wasn’t without incident. She was diabetic, and each time she received the vaccine, her blood sugar spiked. She went to hospital, thinking she was having a heart attack. The first time, it took months for her health to return to normal. With the second jab, it was a matter of weeks.

Still, DuPerron plans to get another booster if it is offered this fall, provided there is an alternative to Moderna.

READ ALSO: Court to weigh in on convoy-related group’s right to stay in Ottawa heritage building

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

Neil Corbett has been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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