japan covid vaccine
A group of people in Japan is seeking compensation from the central government, claiming it had spread damage from coronavirus vaccines by not publicizing their side effects.

They filed their claim with the Tokyo District Court on Wednesday. The 13 plaintiffs are family members of 8 people who died after being vaccinated and 5 people claiming to have suffered health damage from the vaccines.

The plaintiffs claim that they could not know about the risks of the coronavirus vaccines as the government promoted inoculation through various media but did not publicize the side effects reported by medical institutions.

The plaintiffs also claim that the government failed to take sufficient measures for people suffering health damage from the vaccines.

Japan has a relief program under the Immunization Act for people who say they suffered health damage after receiving coronavirus vaccines. The government covers medical fees when it determines that a causal link cannot be denied between the person's health damage and the inoculation. A lump sum is provided in case of death.

The 8 people who died and the 5 people claiming health damage have been certified as eligible for benefits under the relief program.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages totaling some 91 million yen, or about 589,000 dollars, including a lump sum for one of them.

Kawano Akiko, whose husband died two days after being vaccinated, said in a news conference that the government ignored the extensive damage by the vaccines and failed to inform the public of the risks. She added media outlets also failed to cover the matter and made the damage seem insignificant. Kawano said her husband must have plunged into despair and she wants the government to take responsibility.

The health ministry declined to comment, saying it has not received the complaint.