A fund set up by the Hong Kong government to compensate those who suffered from adverse reactions to Covid-19 vaccinations paid out HK$2 million in a case relating to a post-vaccination death, an official document has revealed.

Covid-19 vaccine. File photo: GovHK.

The Legislative Council approved the HK$1 billion fund to provide financial support to people who suffered unexpected serious adverse events after receiving Covid-19 jabs last February.

If a post-vaccination death was found by a panel of health experts to be “consistent with causal association with immunization,” or if it was “indeterminate,” the fund would disburse “an appropriate level of payout.” The amounts associated with post-vaccination deaths was HK$2 million if the deceased was 40 or over, and HK$2.5 million if they were under 40, RTHK reported last February.

According to the government document, as of April 23, the fund had paid out a total of HK$31.5 million for 241 cases of post-jab “injury,” including hospitalisation and Bell’s Palsy, and HK$2 million for one death that had occurred post-vaccination.

The death pay-out was granted after the expert committee concluded that the causal relationship between the death and vaccination was “indeterminate.”

A notice inside a Wellcome supermarket in Hong Kong telling customers to scan the shop’s LeaveHomeSafe QR code for contact-tracing and make sure they have their vaccination proof. File photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

According to the official vaccine safety monitoring report published last December, the case involved a 66-year-old woman who passed away 16 days after receiving her first dose of a BioNTech jab last July.

The expert committee determined that the incident was linked in terms of time frame, but they could not establish a definitive causal relationship because there was viral DNA detected in the patient’s heart tissue, too.

The latest figures from the government’s vaccine dashboard showed that a total of 6.67 million Hongkongers have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine locally as of Monday. Since the vaccination programme began, 89 deaths have been reported within 14 days of vaccination.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam confirmed earlier on Tuesday that the third phase of the vaccine pass scheme would roll out by the end of May, when most people over the age of 12 will have to be triple jabbed to enter a designated list of venues, including shopping malls and restaurants.

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