A South Australian government employee will receive compensation after developing a heart condition following a COVID-19 booster shot.

Daniel Shepherd, 44, developed pericarditis after taking his third Pfizer COVID-19 jab.

The South Australian Employment Tribunal ruled the Department of Child Protection (DCP) must pay compensation and medical expenses.

Shepherd, who worked as a child and youth support worker, was required to take the shot for the job.

Independent journalist Rebekah Barnett writes in Dystopian Down Under:

In a decision handed down on 15 January 2024, the Tribunal determined that Daniel Shepherd’s employment was “a significant contributing cause” to his injury, which has since rendered him incapable of performing his role at work.

Shepherd got a Covid booster in February 2022 as a requirement for his ongoing employment with the DCP. The DCP admitted that Shepherd’s pericarditis had been caused by the booster, but denied responsibility for the injury, arguing that it did not arise from Shepherd’s employment, but from a lawful State Government Public Health Order (PHO), issued under the Emergency Management Act 2004 (EMA).

However, the Tribunal rejected the DCP’s argument, deciding that because the injury arose as a result of both the state-directed vaccination mandate and his employment, Mr Shepherd was entitled to workers compensation.

“This is a good decision” says human rights lawyer Peter Fam, of Sydney law firm Maat’s Method, noting that it sets an important precedent for holding employers accountable for injuries incurred as a result of vaccination directives enforced in the workplace.

“The most significant aspect of this case, in my opinion, is that even though there was a Public Health Order in place, the Tribunal found the employer responsible anyway,” says Fam.

Shepherd told 9News he now has the heart of a 90-year-old.

9News reports:

He was vaccinated against COVID-19 twice.

Both jabs made him unwell but he chose to get a third dose because of the government mandate.

The day after his booster shot he was rushed to hospital.


Shepherd said it felt like someone was holding a knee down on his chest.

“Even today with just mild exertion [I get] chest pains and then it’s followed by fatigue, like severe fatigue,” Shepard said.

The father of a five-year-old now finds it difficult to keep up with his son.

“It’s heartbreaking to have to say ‘sorry buddy, daddy’s tired’,” Shepard said.

After he was unable to work, Shepard launched a workers compensation claim against the government.

In a landmark ruling in mid-January, the South Australian Employment Tribunal agreed to pay weekly compensation and medical bills to Shepherd.

Read the full decision HERE.

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