Health authorities in Japan have revealed that a woman who received a dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech MRNA Covid vaccine died due to a brain haemorrhage just three days later.
The woman, in her 60s and with no known underlying conditions, is believed to have died of subarachnoid haemorrhage, the ministry said, weeks after Japan launched the first phase of its vaccination program.
It is the first report of a death after coronavirus vaccination in the country.
Japan began its COVID-19 vaccinations on Feb. 17 for an initial group of 40,000 health workers at 100 hospitals nationwide. Senior citizens are expected to get shots from April 12, followed by those with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, and workers at elderly care facilities, and then finally the general population.
“The brain haemorrhage that is suspected as a cause is relatively common among people from their 40s to their 60s, and at this time, based on examples overseas, there does not seem to be a link between brain haemorrhages and the coronavirus vaccine,” the ministry quoted Tomohiro Morio, a doctor advising the government, as saying.
“It may be a coincidental case, but there is a need to gather more information and make an assessment in upcoming working groups.”
Pfizer officials in Japan were not immediately available for comment. Pfizer said in November the efficacy of its vaccine was consistent across age and ethnic groups, and that there were no major side effects, a sign that the immunisation could be employed broadly around the world.
Japan became the last member of the Group of Seven leading industrialised nations to begin its vaccination drive, on Feb. 17 after approving the Pfizer jab for emergency use only, meaning the manufacturer – Pfizer – is not liable for any damages due to adverse reactions resulting from their vaccine.
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