A young elite baseball player who suffered heart problems after a COVID-19 shot is questioning Quebec’s decision not to compensate him even though his career was at risk.
“Since the vaccination, I am not the same person. My whole life has been baseball. I lost everything overnight,” said Anthony Moniz Kingsbury, a baseball player who dreamed of playing professionally.
The athlete is one of seven Quebecers who have been contesting the Department of Health’s decision not to compensate them after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine for two years.
According to Health Canada, barely 0.011% of the 95 million vaccine doses resulted in serious unusual clinical effects, such as those seen in gamblers.
The 21-year-old from Gatineau received his first dose in October 2021. Despite not wanting to be vaccinated, he received Moderna’s product in order to keep his job as a clerk at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
“Shortly after I received the vaccine, I wasn’t even able to run the grocery store. I was out of breath,” says the 6’2” and 215 lbs.
He says he’s never had heart problems.
A few weeks later he went to the Papineau Hospital. A doctor then concluded that the myopericarditis — an inflammation of the heart — was probably caused by a vaccination, a rare phenomenon (see box below).
Chest pains, palpitations and difficulty breathing were among the symptoms listed on his medical report.
Anthony Moniz Kingsbury was unable to train for just over 6 months due to shortness of breath.
“I wasn’t the next Eric Gagné. But I may have signed up to play on a professional team in an independent league to get more exposure,” he says.
He points out that he is doing much better without feeling like he did before he was vaccinated.
Had he been healthy, the baseball player estimates he could have received a tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to advance on an American university team. That was also the case before the pandemic.
The right-handed pitcher now denies Quebec’s refusal to indemnify him. He believes that his health problems have left him missing out on interesting opportunities for advancement, both athletically and academically.
In a letter we consulted, the Department of Health does not deny Anthony Moniz Kingsbury’s health problems but questions the “permanent” nature of his injury. This is one of the conditions for compensation.
“I don’t understand how the government can be so confident that some of the consequences will not last,” said the man whose hearing before the Quebec Administrative Court is scheduled for March.
– With François-David Rouleau, Benoit Rioux and Camille Payant
Other patients argue
At least seven people vaccinated against COVID-19 dispute Quebec’s refusal to compensate them and say they are unhappy with Health’s decision.
This emerges from the Compensation Files of the Administrative Court of Quebec (TAQ) obtained by our investigative office thanks to the Law on Access to Public Documents. The files have been anonymized to protect the identity of the applicants.
In most cases, Quebec does not question the possible consequences of vaccination, but rather the permanence of the consequences.
This is particularly true for a woman who says she suffered myocarditis after being vaccinated against COVID-19. She states that she then felt an increase in her heart rate, tightness in her chest and numbness at the ends of her limbs. Also, according to her request, she needs to take medication to treat her symptoms.
A man reports that he was unable to raise his arm for over a year after his vaccination. According to his writings, he was a favored attendant in a CHSLD. In a related case, a woman says she has suffered from a disability in her left shoulder since receiving the vaccine from AstraZeneca in April 2021.
In all of these cases, it was not possible to see the medical records that supported the claims.
Since the vaccine victim compensation program began in 1988, 83 people have appealed Quebec’s decision after refusing to provide them with monetary compensation, according to the Health Department’s March 2022 data.
Rejected applicants have 60 days to appeal their case to the TAQ.
COMPENSATION AFTER AN ANTI-COVID-19 VACCINATION*
(from June 8, 2022)
Number of applications received: 160
Number of requests processed: 74
Number of compensated vaccinated persons: 1
*The Department of Health declined to offer more recent data, saying “fragmentary” data was no longer available, unlike last June. Source: Ministry of Health
Low risks with vaccines
The risk of heart inflammation after vaccination is quite low and cases very often resolve quickly.
Caroline Quach Thanh
“It is a known but relatively rare complication, particularly given the number of doses [contre la COVID-19] that were administered,” said Caroline Quach-Thanh, a pediatrician and microbiologist-infectiologist at Sainte-Justine Hospital.
According to the Canadian government, myocarditis or pericarditis occurs 1.21 times for every 100,000 anti-COVID-19 doses administered. This complication occurs slightly more frequently with Moderna’s vaccine (1.70 times per 100,000 doses) than with Pfizer’s vaccine (1.14 times per 100,000 doses).
“We know that young men under the age of 30 are at greater risk of developing this complication and that the risks are higher after a Moderna vaccine than Pfizer,” said Dr. Quach-Thanh, who points out that such a complication can also occur when contracting COVID-19, regardless of age.
In December 2021, the Quebec Committee on Immunization had also recommended stopping administration of the Moderna vaccine to young people under the age of 30 because of a higher risk of myocarditis or pericarditis in this population.
“In general, if it is after vaccination, [la myopéricardite] is short-lived, a few weeks or months. It’s back to normal for the vast majority of people,” she added.
IN SHORT FOR ALL TYPES OF VACCINES
(as of March 31, 2022)
Number of applications submitted since 1988: 410
Number of accepted applications: 56
Total compensation paid: $7.9 million
Average compensation per victim: $140,232
*Data for all vaccines administered in Quebec. Source: Ministry of Health
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