Death of a 26-year-old Man: “Myocarditis was probably Due to Pfizer Vaccine”
by Stuff NZ
In New Zealand, the death of a 26-year-old man was probably from the heart condition myocarditis that was likely caused by the Covid-19 vaccine, an independent safety board says.
It comes after the Covid-19 Vaccine Independent Safety Monitoring Board revealed it has reviewed the deaths of three people from potential myocarditis, including that of a 13-year-old boy. Plumber Rory Nairn, from Dunedin, died suddenly in his home on November 17 within two weeks of receiving his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Preliminary information from the autopsy has identified myocarditis – inflammation of the heart muscle – as the probable cause of his death, the safety monitoring board said on Monday. Vaccinologist Dr Helen Petousis-Harris said although vaccine-related myocarditis can occur it is “very rare”, and the risks from the vaccine are greatly outweighed by the risk of contracting Covid-19.
The board said Nairn reported no symptoms prior to being vaccinated and the symptoms of myocarditis developed in the days immediately following his first vaccine dose. He also did not seek medical advice or treatment for his symptoms. Some Covid-19 vaccines, including the Pfizer vaccine, can increase the risk of myocarditis, the safety monitoring board said.
The threat of serious illness or death due to Covid-19 varies across the population. But for nearly everyone, the risk of vaccination is much smaller than the risk posed by an infection, even among groups that do well against Covid-19. However, it noted that “infection increases the risk of myocarditis substantially more than vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine”.
There are many possible causes of myocarditis, the most common being a viral infection. An average of 95 people are discharged from hospital with a principal diagnosis of myocarditis in New Zealand every year.
Petousis-Harris, an associate professor at University of Auckland’s Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, said Nairn’s death remains “a possible vaccine-related death” and further research is required.“He has died at a time that puts it as a possibility of the vaccine and obviously the conclusions are it looks like he died with myocarditis,” she said.“This really highlights the importance of seeking medical attention when you have chest pain and symptoms like that. It’s vital.
”Petousis-Harris said vaccine-related myocarditis cases are more common in males aged under 30, within days of receiving their second dose.“In these cases, the course of disease is generally mild and resolved with rest and anti-inflammatory medication… When hospitalised the mean stay is 1-day compared with 6-days for covid infection in the younger age group.
”Immunologist, Professor Graham Le Gros, programme director for Vaccine Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand – Ohu Kaupare Huaketo, said “We know there is significant risk of myocarditis occurring following infection with the COVID-19 virus in some patients. There is a very much smaller risk of people developing myocarditis following a vaccine.”
“This kind of heart problem is associated with many types of virus infections. I used to diagnose and look for viruses in people who had died a sudden cardiac death, and trust me, the COVID-19 infection carries a definite risk,” he said.
Nairn’s death is one of three reviewed by the safety monitoring board when it met on December 8 in relation to a possible link to vaccination.
The death of the 13-year-old – which has been reported to the coroner – was discussed at length, but further information was required “before a determination on the role of the vaccine” could be made.
However, the board considered the myocarditis which was implicated in the death of a man in his 60s was unlikely to be related to vaccination. The time from vaccination to the onset of symptoms and clinical factors pointed to other causes and was not consistent with a causal link, the board concluded.
“The board recognises that, in relation to deaths reported to the coroner, it is for the coroner to determine the cause and circumstances of death,” it said in a statement issued through the Ministry of Health.
“The board considers that the circumstances of these cases do not impact or change the known information on myocarditis.
“The benefits of vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine for Covid-19 continue to greatly outweigh the risk of such rare side effects.”
by Lee Kenny
Originally published by Stuff
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