CORONAVIRUS/Girl to receive NT$3 million payout for adverse COVID vaccine reaction

09/08/2022 10:49 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 8 (CNA) A panel of experts appointed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare has agreed that an adolescent girl from Taoyuan who developed myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart, after taking the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, should be paid NT$3 million (US$97,087) in compensation.

The girl, identified as a minor above the age of 10, is the youngest person to date to be compensated under the government's Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Thursday.

The VICP panel convened on Aug. 11 to review 70 recently filed cases involving individuals seeking compensation because of side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine, and decided that claims in 14 cases were valid.

The valid cases consisted of 10 recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine, two of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and one each of the Moderna and Medigen vaccines. All but the NT$3 million payout were in the range of NT$5,000 to NT$500,000, according to a report released by the panel on Thursday.

The girl who received the NT$3 million sum, surnamed Kuo (郭), developed symptoms including a fever, headache, and sore throat 11 days after taking the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

In hospital, a cardiac ultrasound showed that she was experiencing systolic dysfunction, while a blood test revealed signs of heart failure and an electrocardiogram showed a third-degree atrioventricular (AV) block, the report said.

The panel said the girl's clinical manifestations matched the diagnostic criteria of myocarditis, except for the fact that they developed much longer after vaccination than is usual.

For this reason, the panel said, it was unable to conclude that the girl's symptoms were correlated with the vaccine, but it nevertheless decided to award her NT$3 in compensation -- half the legal maximum of NT$6 million.

When asked about the girl's case on Thursday -- including when her reaction occurred and the status of her recovery -- CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) declined to provide additional details.

(By Shen Pei-yao and Matthew Mazzetta)

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