Investigated adverse events not linked to COVID-19 vaccine: Health

Fiji’s Ministry of Health maintains that none of the reported cases of serious adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) investigated so far were COVID-19 vaccine related.

An AEFI includes any unexpected medical event that any individual may experience following vaccination, which may or may not be related to the vaccine.

Fourteen per cent of the 64 AEFI cases reported to the ministry were deemed serious in that they required hospitalisation or resulted in death after vaccination. Of the 64 cases, 62 incidents, involving 61 adults and a child, have been completely investigated.

“To date none of the reported cases of serious AEFI were assessed to be COVID-19 vaccine related,” the ministry said.

Analysis showed that 47 AEFIs (73.4%) were reported from the medical bay at the vaccination sites, while the most common side effects reported were fever, body pain, and hives.

The ministry said adverse events following immunisations are expected with the rolling out of any vaccine. As with every other immunisation roll-out program, the ministry incorporates in its COVID-19 plans, preparation and responses to any adverse events that may arise.

“The MHMS has in place an AEFI investigation system comprising an AEFI officer with internal (Fiji) and external (international) panels that are responsible for receiving AEFI and investigating reported events. For milder cases, the AEFI officer also facilitates follow-up via multiple means (phone calls, Viber, Messenger, or emails).

“Fatal events may be assessed by post mortem. For COVID positive cases where a post mortem was not possible, the health team conducts a verbal autopsy process (internal & external panel) to confirm the cause of death.”

Two of the 64 AEFI are still being investigated.

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