Compensation awarded to worker who suffered severe vaccine-related illness after being forced to take the jab to keep his job.
In a groundbreaking decision, a public servant who faced severe health issues after a mandatory Covid vaccination, has triumphed in a significant legal battle, securing compensation for his ordeal.
Daniel Shepherd, 44, initially received two Covid-19 vaccinations as a youth worker at Baptist Care South Australia in 2021, experiencing adverse reactions.
Later, when he joined the Department for Child Protection (DCP), he was mandated to take a booster shot on January 28, 2022, to retain his position as a child and youth worker.
After receiving a Pfizer mRNA jab on February 24, 2022, Shepherd developed serious chest pains a day later, according to media reports. The pain escalated, leading to his hospitalisation on March 11, where he was diagnosed with post-vaccine pericarditis — an inflammation of the heart’s surrounding membrane.
While DCP acknowledged the vaccine’s role in the illness, it denied compensation, citing legal government directives under the SA Emergency Management Act.
However, Judge Mark Calligeros, the SA Employment Tribunal’s deputy president, rejected these arguments, emphasising that denying compensation to a state employee injured by adhering to a vaccination mandate would be unjust.
In a landmark ruling, the judge ordered weekly income support payments and coverage of medical expenses for Shepherd, highlighting the importance of protecting public health while ensuring just compensation for those affected by vaccination mandates.