Cheonggyecheon Square in Jung-gu, Seoul, on April 20. A tent with a placard reading “Memorial for COVID-19 Vaccine Victims” was visible among the crowds of locals and foreign tourists enjoying the gentle spring sunshine. Ten days after the government declared a de facto pandemic, the area around the faded tent still seemed to be frozen in time at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Everyone says it’s over, but for the victims of vaccine side effects, it’s ongoing,” said one of the vigil keepers.
The Council of Families of COVID-19 Vaccine Victims (Kobaekhoe) set up the joint memorial in Cheonggyecheon Square in January last year, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kim Chang-ho, 62, introduced himself as a vaccine adverse event victim. “It’s a frozen time for us, and I’m anxious because it keeps getting forgotten,” he said.
A city bus driver, Mr. Kim’s adverse reaction occurred on the fifth day of receiving the vaccine. In June 2021, he was driving his bus as usual when he suddenly felt like the car was falling apart. When he got out of the car to check the bus, he was knocked unconscious and rushed to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a stroke.
Overnight, Kim lost the use of the left half of his body. At work, he was put on administrative leave. After two denied workers’ compensation claims, Kim is considering her last option: an administrative lawsuit.
An aunt in her 40s had a similar experience in December 2021 when her son메이저사이트, then a junior in middle school, was suddenly diagnosed with blood cancer. He started complaining of abdominal pain about 20 days after the second vaccine dose. A hospital test revealed that he had Burkitt lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. He also had to have 20 centimeters of his colon removed due to intestinal duplication.
Lee still can’t believe that his son, who was healthy enough to run out to play basketball and soccer every weekend, had blood cancer. “We were a normal family, cruising in calm waters, but after the vaccine shot, that’s what happened to him, and all of a sudden, we were in the middle of a typhoon, and we couldn’t do anything,” he said. “I still think, ‘I wish I could go back to three years ago’ (before my son got sick),” she said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 95,318 applications for COVID-19 vaccination compensation have been filed, and 23,796 have been approved, including 17 deaths. That’s about one in four.
Victims of the coronavirus vaccine have demanded that the government should strive for a minimum amount of compensation. The KVA recently submitted a special law on compensation for coronavirus vaccine damage through the office of Rep. Kang Ki-yoon, a member of the ruling party on the National Assembly’s Health and Welfare Committee, but the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said it would not accept it.
“The bill we submitted was to ‘compensate those who are presumed to have suffered adverse reactions after vaccination,’ which is much weaker than placing the burden of proving vaccine damage on the state,” said Kim Doo-kyung, chairperson of the KVA. “The attitude of not accepting even this seems to indicate that no one will take responsibility for the damage suffered by vaccinated citizens.”