Fiji’s Ministry of Health says there is no evidence to suggest the death of a 53-year-old male and the hospitalisation of a 65-year-old female in the West on 7 June stem from their receiving the AstraZeneca COVID19 vaccine.
The MOH says the incidents stem from pre-existing health conditions, claims that have been disputed by the deceased man’s wife.
Jitendra Kumar’s wife, Priti Praneeta Narayan told the Fiji Sun that her husband was a healthy man who did not have any health issues. The man’s son insisted that the statements by the MOH “were untrue.”
In the revised version of a statement that first appeared on social media yesterday, the MOH stated that their investigations ruled out any links to their being administered the vaccine.
They attributed the 53-year-old man’s death to a heart attack, and the 65-year-old woman’s hospitalisation to a “long-standing history of a seizure disorder and other chronic conditions making her susceptible to stroke”.
“The 53-year old received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on 2 June 2021. That evening he experienced severe cardiac like pain and was taken to hospital and unfortunately passed away prior to arrival. Investigations 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.
“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 4 May 2021. The following day she experienced symptoms consistent with her chronic condition and was admitted to hospital. The individual has since been discharged from hospital, however continues to suffer medical issues. 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.”
Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Dr James Fong said that 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.
“People do not stop getting serious illness while we are carrying out the vaccination campaign. The chance of getting a heart attack is not changed by vaccines. The evidence based on a thorough investigation of both cases, that neither was linked to the vaccine,” Dr Fong said.
“They were caused by the patients pre-existing conditions. 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. 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.
Photo: File Photo