A nursing home worker receives the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a health care centre in Seoul, S.Korea. Reuters
South Korean authorities said on Wednesday they are investigating the deaths of two people after a media report said the pair - both with pre-existing conditions - died within days of receiving AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.
A 63-year-old nursing home patient with cerebrovascular disease developed symptoms, including high fever, after being given the AstraZeneca vaccine, Yonhap news agency reported. The person was moved to a larger hospital on Tuesday, but died after showing symptoms of blood poisoning and pneumonia, Yonhap said.
Another person in their 50s with a cardiac disorder and diabetes died on Wednesday after suffering multiple heart attacks, having received the same vaccine a day earlier, the agency said.
An official with the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) told Reuters it was investigating the cause of the deaths, but did not elaborate or confirm the details of Yonhap’s report.
An AstraZeneca spokeswoman in Seoul said the company had no comment at present.
South Korea began vaccinating its population last week. By Tuesday midnight, 85,904 people had received first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 1,524 had been given Pfizer shots, KDCA said in a statement.
South Korea reported 444 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, up from 344 on Monday, raising the country’s tally to 90,816 infections, with 1,612 deaths.
A 44-year-old man was admitted to a Melbourne hospital with clotting days after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, suffering serious thrombosis and a low count of platelets, or blood cells that stop bleeding.
An SUV crashed with a military armoured vehicle at about 9:30pm on Sunday, on a public road about 5km from a live-fire range used by the US and South Korean militaries in Pocheon, between Seoul and the North Korean border, the fire department said in a statement.
South Korean officials refused to suspend the country’s seasonal flu inoculation programme on Thursday, despite growing calls to do so following the deaths of at least 13 people who were vaccinated in recent days.
Thirteen of its 20 crew members were plucked from the water by another fishing boat before being transferred to the Happy Hiro. They suffered minor injuries.
The plane, which was on a 15-minute scheduled flight to the mountain town of Jomsom, lost contact with the airport tower shortly after takeoff.
The painful coronavirus curbs in major Chinese cities run counter to trends seen in the rest of the world, which has largely moved towards co-existing with the virus even as infections spread.