Bloomfield outlines reason for making public a woman’s death linked to COVID-19 vaccine

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 30, 2021 |

The Director-General of Health has outlined why the Ministry of Health made public a woman’s death, which has been linked to the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

In a statement, released earlier today, the Ministry said “It is being treated as the first case in New Zealand where a death in the days after vaccination has been linked to the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.”

The Ministry said the Covid-19 Vaccine Independent Safety Monitoring Board noted that there were other medical issues occurring at the same time that may have influenced the outcome following vaccination.

“The case has been referred to the coroner, who is investigating. The cause of death has not yet been determined.”

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, which can reduce the heart’s ability to pump blood around the body and cause rapid or abnormal heart rhythms.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield said “this is a known very rare side effect of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines and Medsafe had put out an alert about this a month ago and in fact, I pointed everyone to that here in one of the stand-ups.”

“The risk of myocarditis after the vaccine is a lot lower than the risk of myocarditis after being infected with COVID-19.”

“The reason we have put this out there is to make people aware that this has happened, but also to make sure that people being vaccinated and our health professionals are aware that if someone does present with chest pain or a bit of shortness of breath or palpitations and they have recently been vaccinated, then they should look into that.”

“And also it’s of great interest internationally as well, because it’s one of the few cases where we’ve got the full range of evidence around the side effects and then able to explain it.”

“I do want to of course give my condolences to the family that has been fabulous and supporting us to investigate this case and get this information out so that it can be useful for the wider public.”

“I recognise it will be a worry for some people. I do want to reassure people that there is very clear evidence that the vaccine is a lot safer than being infected with COVID-19. This is a very rare side effect. It’s one that we were alerted to already and we’ve now put out good information to health professionals.”

“We collect very good information on any adverse effects and we’re not seeing anything out of the ordinary with this vaccine compared with what is the experiences in other countries, so I can reassure people that the safety profile of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is very, very good.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has confirmed the alert level change will take place and planned, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

Alert Level 3 for the country south of Auckland will stay in place for a week.

Auckland will remain at alert level 4 for another two weeks.

Wastewater testing in Northland is due on Thursday and if the tests are clear, Northland will go to level three at 11:59pm on Thursday.

The Prime Minister told a press conference “level three does not mean freedom.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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