On Thursday January 21, a man in California visited his hospital for a vaccination for the novel coronavirus. A few hours later, the man was reported dead by officials. What happened?
Back in December, the individual tested positive with COVID-19 but managed to recover in the time being. Around a month later, he then took the vaccination shot, which has not been clarified as to which company’s dose.
Officials in Placer County, California and other states are gathering to discuss the outcome and potential causes for such death. The Placer County Sheriff tweeted “The vaccine was not administered by Placer County Public Health. There are multiple local, state, and federal agencies actively investigating this case; any reports surrounding the cause of death are premature, pending the outcome of the investigation. Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased.”
“Many people are going to make the connection with the vaccine because of the timing,” said Dr. Dean Blumberg, a disease expert at UC Davis Children’s hospital, as he claims blame should not be placed hastily.
However, officials and much of the general public are questioning its irrelevance to the vaccine. From the past few weeks, infections towards the COVID-19 vaccine have taken over major headlines, warning the public before the hundred and millions of doses are shipped out. Just last week in Santa Clara County, officials paused the administration of the Moderna vaccine due to sudden allergic reactions among individuals. Nationwide, the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has reported that people can experience severe allergic reactions—known as anaphylaxis—after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
While people can never be too safe, some officials like Blumberg argue that “it’s probably not related to the vaccine because we know that the severe allergic reactions that occur following immunization, the vast majority of those occur 15-30 minutes following immunization.” Since the individual’s reaction happened a few hours, rather than minutes, later, the cause of death may not be directly from the vaccine allergy. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to the President, warned that people should not get vaccinated within 90 days of contracting the virus, in reflection of recent anomalies.
As the pandemic ravages on, vaccines are being distributed as fast as possible. While this one rare instance may raise questions to the supposedly haste process, officials are assuring citizens that the vaccine is safe as they get to the bottom of this.
California as a whole had unfortunately reached a milestone with coronavirus cases, being the first state in the United States to reach 3 million infections. With populated ares such as the Bay Area and Los Angeles areas, hospitals are reporting that ICUs are overflowing, showing no signs of stopping. Noted as an “explosion”, the LA county has shown that approximately 1 in 3 people have caught COVID-19 before.
Surpassing one whole year since the first U.S. outbreak, it stays crucial to stay safe and put an end to this unforgiving pandemic.