Sat, Jan 02, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Man compensated over vaccine

BETTER WITHOUT IT The 35-year-old man was awarded NT$50,000 after he fell ill after taking the A(H1N1) vaccine. His symptoms included difficulty urinating and fever

By Wei Yi-chia  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) review group yesterday confirmed the first case of adverse effects related to the influenza A(H1N1) vaccine.

A 35-year-old man felt dizzy right after being vaccinated, although the dizziness disappeared after he went home that day.

Later, he began to experience weakness in his legs and difficulty urinating 13 days after being vaccinated, and was found to have acute spinal cord injury and spondylitis.

Although the symptoms could have been caused by autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, the VICP review group still decided to grant compensation of NT$50,000 (US$1,500) to the man since they could not rule out that the symptoms were caused by the vaccine.

The 35-year-old man旧 case is the first in which the VICP review group has confirmed adverse side effects related to the influenza A(H1N1) vaccine and the first to involve compensation.

As of yesterday, a total of 39 applications for vaccine injury compensation have been filed. Among them, the review process has been completed for 11 applications.

The man旧 application is the only one that has passed the review so far, VICP review group executive director Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍) said.

Liu said that the man felt dizzy right after he was vaccinated, although the dizziness disappeared after he returned home. However, he went to the doctor 13 days after being vaccinated because of numbness in his feet accompanied by a fever.

Further medical checks found that he also suffered from weakness in his legs and difficulty urinating. A nuclear magnetic resonance examination showed that the man had also slipped a disc in his waist.

Although the acute spinal cord injury and spondylitis that the man suffered from could have been caused by autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, the review group still decided to grant him the compensation because similar adverse effects could happen within one to two weeks of vaccination, Liu said.

He added that the symptoms would not be vaccine-related if they disappear within three months, but the review group could not wait for such a long time.

The review group also took into consideration the mental and physical suffering the man went through when making its decision, Liu said.

The review group looked at two other vaccine injury compensation applications yesterday.

However, members of the VICP group believed the symptoms that the two applicants suffered from were not caused by the vaccine, and therefore ruled against issuing them compensation.

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