The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has received a total of 39 claims requesting compensation for individuals thought to be injured by the pandemic influenza A (H1N1) vaccine as of December 31, 2009. VICP has completed reviewing eleven petitions. One case was ruled compensable, but the other ten cases were ruled non-compensable.
On December 29, 2009, VICP called a conference to review three petitions. At the conference, VICP reviewed the cases・ clinical charts, laboratory data, medical treatment, disease development, past medical history, related vaccine characteristics, relevant literature and clinical experiences to determine the cause of each case and the association between the H1N1 vaccine and the case. According to the report released by VICP, two cases were deemed not associated with the pandemic influenza A (H1N1) vaccine, while a link between the vaccine and the other case could not be completely ruled out.
Case # 1 is a 35-year-old man who experienced needle shock after receiving the pandemic H1N1 vaccine. His symptoms were slightly relieved after returning home. Thirteen days later, he sought medical attention at a clinic when he experienced fever and numbness in the feet. He was then referred to the hospital for further treatment. His neurological examination showed slight proximal weakness of the lower limbs and abnormal urination. His lumbar spine MRI (L-spine MRI) showed left lumbar disc herniation. No spinal cord disorder was detected. The case was then diagnosed with acute spinal cord injury and spinal infection. The case・s clinical symptoms might be a result of his autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis. However, taking the time between vaccination and symptom onset into consideration, a link between the vaccine and the case・s symptoms cannot be ruled out. Therefore, the case is awarded NT$50,000 in compensation.
Case# 2 is a 9-year-old girl who experienced fever, cough and sore throat the day after she received the pandemic H1N1 vaccine. She was tested positive for influenza A by the rapid diagnostic test and was prescribed Tamiflu. Eight days after vaccination, she sought medical attention at the hospital when she experience uncontrollable leg shaking, weakness on the left side of her body, weakness of her lower limbs and unsteady gait towards the left side. Her brain MRI, nerve conduction studies and electroencephalography (EEF) all showed no abnormality. Her deep tendon reflexes were all normal. It was determined that the case・s symptoms were a result of influenza A infection since none of her neurological examinations could explain her symptoms. On the other hand, her symptoms could also be a result of conversion disorder or hysteria, which is considered as a motor function abnormality. Hence, her clinical symptoms are not associated with the pandemic H1N1 vaccine and the case was ruled non-compensable.
Case# 3 is an 5-year old girl who experienced pain in cheeks three days after vaccination. The family member of the case noticed her development of red swollen eyes and cheek asymmetry. The case sought medical attention at an ophthalmology clinic, and was then referred to a pediatric neurologist. When she sought further medical attention at the medical center, she was diagnosed with Bell・s palsy. Her symptoms that developed after vaccination were likely a result of her own viral infection or a reactivation of her own viral infection, which ruled out the link between the vaccine and her symptoms because the pandemic H1N1 vaccine is an inactivated vaccine. Therefore, her clinical symptoms are not associated with the pandemic H1N1 vaccine and the case was ruled non-compensable.