The Ministry of Health has clarified that there is no evidence to suggest that the death of a 53 year old man and the hospitalisation of a 65 year old woman suffering severe illness is related to the individuals getting the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine.
In a statement the Health Ministry says this has been determined by thorough investigations conducted by the Ministry’s clinical and vaccination safety teams.
They say the man received his first dose of the vaccine on 2nd June and he started experiencing severe cardiac like pain that evening and was taken to hospital where he unfortunately passed away prior to arrival.
Investigations conducted by the Ministry’s team have identified the man had a long history of cardiac pain which had not been medically assessed.
The Ministry of Health says assessment by his clinicians is that the man died of a heart attack.
They have also clarified that the 65 year old has a long-standing history of a seizure disorder and other chronic conditions making her susceptible to stroke.
The Ministry says she received her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 4th May 2021 and experienced symptoms consistent with her chronic condition the following day when she was admitted to the hospital.
The statement says the woman has since been discharged from hospital however continues to suffer medical issues.
They say it is apparent that her ongoing medical issues are associated to her existing chronic illnesses and not linked to her COVID-19 vaccination.
Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong says they continue to provide her family with proper medical advice for her health issues. Dr Fong says people do not stop getting serious illness while they are carrying out the vaccination campaign and adds the chance of getting a heart attack is not changed by vaccines.
He says the evidence based on a thorough investigation of both cases suggests that neither was linked to the vaccine and they were caused by the patients' pre-existing conditions.
Dr Fong says one was an undiagnosed pre-existing condition and the other had a known pre-existing condition.
He adds 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.
Meanwhile 237,940 people in Fiji have so far received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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