Vaccine injury program awards NT$1.5 million payout over death of elderly woman

Taiwan’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) awarded compensation of NT$1.5 million to the family of a 90-year-old woman who died 5 minutes after being injected with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the VICP review information, the elderly woman was a long-term resident of a care institution with a medical history of multiple chronic diseases, including asthma, hypertensive heart disease, and diabetes.

In July, 2022, the woman was injected with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Within five minutes of injection, the patient turned pale, lost blood pressure, and died.

A pathological autopsy report recorded the presence of mast granular cells in the lungs of the deceased, which is consistent with anaphylactic shock. Therefore, it was determined that the cause of death was related to vaccination. According to Article 18, Item 1 of the VICP’s Vaccination Victim Relief Fund Collection and Review Measures, a relief fund of NT$1.5 million and a funeral subsidy of NT$300,000 were approved.

Deputy Director General of the Centers for Disease Control, Tseng, Shu-Huai (曾淑慧), emphasized that the woman was vaccinated in July 2022, so the case is not related to the current XBB vaccine.

In addition to the above case, the VICP also awarded a compensation of NT$1 million to a man in his 50s from Taichung who developed paralysis, dysarthria, and facial nerve paralysis on his left side after receiving a seasonal influenza vaccine. 

In the latest review meeting, 132 COVID-19 vaccine injury cases were reviewed. Four cases were determined to be related to the vaccine, 26 cases could not be ruled out, and 102 cases were deemed unrelated. The total amount of relief funds and funeral subsidies granted totaled more than NT$3.49 million.

So far this year, the VICP has completed a review of 948 cases related to the COVID-19 vaccines, and paid out more than NT$14 million in compensation.

CDC officials and medical experts don funny hats
CDC officials and medical experts at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture credit: ET Today.
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