The chairperson of the Chiayi City branch of the Taiwan People’s Party called on the government to be more proactive in assisting families of suspected cases of vaccine adverse events while visiting one such family yesterday, September 24.
TPP Chiayi City Party Committee Chairperson Wu Tingzhen met with family of a 26-year-old man named Huang who is currently in a coma in the intensive care unit of Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital since suffering a stroke nine days ago.
On September 16, Huang, a graduate student in the Law department at National Chung Cheng University, with no medical history of chronic disease, suddenly collapsed while sitting on his scooter waiting at a red light.
Huang was rushed to hospital where he was diagnosed as having suffered a thrombosis in the right internal carotid artery, which caused a massive brain infarction.
Huang’s parents rushed to Chiayi City, and were surprised to find a vaccine “yellow card” when searching Huang’s accommodation for his health insurance card. The yellow card showed that Huang, without the knowledge of his parents, had received a shot of Taiwan’s domestically produced Medigen COVID-19 vaccine on September 10, just 6 days before he suffered a stroke..
Mr Huang’s family suspected that his stroke may be related to the vaccine. However, the Chiayi County Health Bureau stated that is unable to confirm a relationship between Huang’s condition and the vaccine.
Huang underwent two successive brain surgeries in the days following his collapse, but has not regained consciousness, and remains in a coma at a Glasgow coma scale index level 5.
Wu Tingzhen went to visit the family to hear their concerns and present them with some cash assistance to help them overcome some of their immediate hurdles such as accommodation in the City, and frequent COVID screening tests.
Mr Huang’s parents are required to undergo self-funded COVID tests at the hospital every four days in order to visit their son. Each test costs them NT$500 each.
As for accommodation, the Huang’s have been staying at their son’s off-campus dormitory. However, the landlord, upon learning that the couple were in and out of the hospital every day, was concerned that the dormitory could be infected with COVID-19, and “tactfully suggested” they find alternative accommodation.
Wu Tingzhen urged the central government to be more active in assisting families of suspected vaccine adverse events, saying that the process of applying for assistance was long, drawn out, and a negative experience.
As of September 23, a total of 13,856,466 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in Taiwan, with a population coverage of 50.16 percent. A total of 7,610 suspected adverse events had been reported, with 793 fatal.
On September 22, Premier Su Tseng-chang said that 830 applications for victim relief had been received, and that more than half had entered the stage of incident investigation and medical record review.
Su said that with thousands of vaccine injections there cannot be no issues, and emphasized that the government must adopt the most rigorous attitude and understand with the most empathy for family members of vaccine recipients who have suffered adverse events. The expert review team has due responsibilities, and the government will never evade them.
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