MEDIA STATEMENT – MoHMS
Last Updated on 2 years by Publishing Team
Date: 12 June 2021
On the 7th June 2021, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services was notified from the Western Division of the death of a 53-year-old male, and the hospitalization of a 65-year-old female suffering severe illness following the COVID-19 vaccination.
Following thorough investigations into these two incidents by the Ministry’s clinical and vaccination safety teams, it has been determined that there is no evidence to suggest either incident was related to the individuals receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
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 seizure disorder and other chronic conditions making her susceptible to stroke. The individual received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on 4 May 2021. The following day she experienced symptoms consistent with her chronic condition and was admitted to the hospital. The individual has since been discharged from the hospital, however continues to suffer medical issues. It is apparent that the individual’s ongoing medical issues are associated with 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 of Health 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, is that neither was linked to the vaccine. They were caused by the patients’ pre-existing conditions. One was an undiagnosed pre-existing condition while 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,” said Dr Fong.
As of today, 237,940 individuals in Fiji have safely received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
For further information, please contact Dr. Rachel Devi, Head of COVID-19 Vaccination Program. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org