Fri, Jan 01, 2010 - Page 4 News List

Lawmakers to increase pay for vaccine deaths

ARROGANT Lawmakers called for the president and trustees of Adimmune to attend a meeting. However, officials from the A(H1N1) vaccine maker failed to show

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lawmakers serving the legislature’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee yesterday proposed raising the compensation for deaths caused by the A(H1N1) vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Tuesday that it was planning to increase the death compensation from NT$2 million (US$62,500) to NT$6 million.

However, legislators from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said they wanted the stated amount increased in light of a series of cases in which patients developed a negative reaction to the vaccines. One of the cases involved a seven-year-old boy surnamed Liu (劉), who died a month after he was vaccinated.

The version proposed by KMT Legislator Hou Tsai-feng (侯彩鳳) called for raising the death compensation from NT$6 million to NT$10 million, while DPP Legislator Chen Chiech-ju’s (陳節如) version would double the CDC’s proposed compensation to NT$12 million.

The Department of Health (DOH) will consider both proposals before it makes its final decision.

The DOH was scheduled to brief lawmakers at the committee yesterday about how the department executed its immunization plans and handled negative reactions to the vaccines. The committee also invited Adimmune Corp (國光生技) president Steve Chan (詹啟賢) and the company’s trustees to attend the meeting, but none showed up.

The absence of Adimmune’s representatives upset legislators because the company’s vaccines had been shown to lead to side effects in patients and sometimes deaths. Legislators accused DOH Minister Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良) of being powerless over the company, even though it is 30 percent government owned. Some legislators said that trustee Oliver Hu (胡幼圃) was also a member of the Examination Yuan and proposed his replacement.

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