Photo/Illutration A person receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Tokyo. (Tatsuya Shimada)

For the first time, the health ministry has approved a payment to the bereaved family of a person who died after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. 

An expert subcommittee of the health ministry assessing the health damage caused by COVID-19 vaccinations approved the payment for the family of the 91-year-old woman on July 25.

Her family will receive 44.2 million yen ($324,000) in a lump-sum death benefit and 212,000 yen for funeral expenses under the immunization law.

The health ministry said the woman had an acute allergic reaction and acute myocardial infarction after getting vaccinated.

However, the ministry did not acknowledge a causal link between the inoculation and her death. It only said a casual relationship "cannot be ruled out." 

To be eligible for a relief payment, a medical causal link is not strictly required. 

Cases where it cannot be denied that the symptoms were caused by inoculation may also be approved. 

The ministry has not disclosed when the woman received the shot or what type of vaccination she received.

The ministry said the woman had underlying conditions, including a cerebral ischemic attack and hypertension, which could have been related to her death.

Nine cases have been screened for eligibility for lump-sum death benefits after receiving a COVID-19 shot. Eight cases have been put on hold, and this is the first time the relief system was applied to a post-COVID-19 vaccination death.