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Recent death and illness not related to COVID-19 vaccine

June 13, 2021 6:22 am

A thorough investigation into the recent death and the hospitalization of a woman has revealed that there is no evidence to suggest the incidents were related to the individuals receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Monday, June 7th, the Ministry of Health was notified from the Western Division of the death of a 53-year-old male, and the hospitalization of a 65-year-old female suffering severe illness following the COVID-19 vaccination.

Permanent Secretary, Doctor James Fong, says following thorough investigation into these two incidents by the Ministry’s clinical and vaccination safety teams, it has been determined that the incidents are not related to COVID-19 vaccine.

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The 53-year-old received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on June 2nd.

Doctor Fong says that evening he experienced severe cardiac like pain and was taken to hospital and unfortunately passed away prior to arrival.

Investigation conducted by the Ministry’s team have identified the individual had a long history of cardiac pain which had not been medically assessed.

The assessment by his clinicians is that he died of a heart attack.

Doctor Fong says regarding the case of the 65-year-old, she has a long-standing history of a seizure disorder and other chronic conditions making her susceptible to stroke.

The individual received her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on May 4th.

Doctor Fong says the following day she experienced symptoms consistent with her chronic condition and was admitted to hospital.

He adds the individual has since been discharged from hospital, however continues to suffer medical issues.

Doctor Fong says it is apparent that the individual’s ongoing medical issues are associated to her existing chronic illnesses, and not linked to her COVID-19 vaccination.

The Permanent Secretary says the Ministry continues to provide her family with proper medical advice for her health issues and wishes a speedy recovery to the individual from her illness.

He is urging people do not stop getting serious illness while they are carrying out the vaccination campaign.

Doctor Fong says the chance of getting a heart attack is not changed by vaccines.

He says the evidence based on a thorough investigation of both cases, that neither was linked to the vaccine as they were caused by the patients pre-existing conditions.

He says one was an undiagnosed pre-existing condition and the other had a known pre-existing condition.

The Ministry has established a monitoring system and response plan to detect any unexpected medical event after someone has received a vaccine, which may or may not be caused by the vaccine.

He says any such events that may be of concern will then be thoroughly investigated to determine their cause.

As of today, 237,940 individuals in Fiji have safely received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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