Hong Kong’s Food and Health Bureau recently approved a payout of HK$2 million ($255,000) for a vaccine-related death case. The amount formed part of a HK$1 billion ($127.5 million) indemnity fund established to compensate individuals who suffer from adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination.
According to the Hong Kong Free Press, the HK$2 million ($255,000) payout was not the only amount shelled out to compensate victims of vaccine damage. As of April 23, it had already paid out a total of HK$31.5 million ($4.02 million) for 241 cases of vaccine injury.
The HK$2 million ($255,000) payout applies if the deceased was aged 40 and older. Individuals aged younger than 40 could receive a bigger payout of HK$2.5 million ($318,750).
An official vaccine safety monitoring report published in December 2021 elaborated on the vaccine case. It involved a 66-year-old woman who passed away 16 days after receiving her first doses of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in July of that year.
A resulting autopsy found that she died of myocarditis or heart muscle inflammation. The city-state’s Expert Committee on Clinical Events Assessment Following COVID-19 Immunization subsequently concluded that there was an “intermediate” relationship between the COVID-19 vaccine and her death. Following this finding, the Hong Kong government approved the payout.
Dr. Ivan Hung Fan-ngai, the expert committee’s co-convener, explained in an interview that the woman had no long-term illness. He added that her autopsy report indicated the presence of the parvovirus B19 pathogen in her body – which can cause myocarditis – for a period of time. Nevertheless, Hung remarked that the relationship between the condition and vaccination cannot be completely ruled out in the woman’s case.