A 22-year-old Jakarta resident died within hours of receiving a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, officials said, as an investigation is underway to establish whether or not his death was linked to the vaccine.
The victim, known by his initials TFV, reportedly received his AstraZeneca shot on Wednesday as Jakarta last week expanded its vaccine eligibility list to include anyone over the age of 18. TFV then went to work, where he complained about a headache and became feverish.
TFV went home and contacted his GP, who was not available to see him that day. The young man did not contact the emergency doctor assigned to handle adverse reactions to vaccinations.
TFV’s family took him to a hospital in East Jakarta as his condition worsened on Thursday, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. A medical report ruled blood clots to be the cause of TFV’s death, though it’s not immediately clear where in his body the coagulation occurred.
“It’s difficult to determine a link between the death and the AstraZeneca vaccine,” National Commission on Post-Immunization Accidents (Komnas KIPI) Chairman Hindra Irawan Satari said today.
“[Blood clots] that are fatal often occur in the brain or lungs. [TFV] did not show signs of difficulty breathing … and he did not have any seizures.”
The commission published an official statement on the Health Ministry’s website ruling out a definitive link between TFV’s blood clotting to the AstraZeneca vaccine, and noted that Indonesia has yet to report a single death directly caused by a COVID-19 vaccine.
Indonesia has so far received 6.4 million doses of the vaccine from the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical firm through a WHO-backed initiative to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to developing nations.
Post-vaccination blood clots are extremely rare and there is yet to be an officially established link between the fatal side effect and the AstraZeneca vaccine, though UK experts say evidence is “firming up.” Young people are believed to be more at risk, and UK medical authorities are recommending that healthy people below the age of 30 be offered a different vaccine.
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