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New Zealand's Covid-19 Vaccine Independent Safety Monitoring Board (CV-ISMB) advised the Ministry of Health to ensure healthcare professionals and consumers are aware of the rare signs of myocarditis and pericarditis after vaccination.
A woman passed away following her Comirnaty Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination. She died reportedly due to complications of a rare side effect from the vaccine called myocarditis.
“The CV-ISMB extends their sympathies to the woman’s family and friends during this difficult time and thanks to the family for their assistance with this investigation,” a statement to thisquality says.
The cause of death is not yet confirmed and has been referred to the Coroner. The CV-ISMB considered that myocarditis was likely due to vaccination but noted other medical issues were happening at the same time for this individual — influencing the outcome.
Adverse reactions are reported to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) programme. Those reports with a fatal outcome are referred to CV-ISMB for review. CARM confirms as much information on the case, and then clinical experts on the CV-ISMB assist them in considering whether there had been any links to vaccination.
This is the first case reported in New Zealand where there's been a death following vaccination linked to the Pfizer vaccine. CARM has received prior reports of deaths in those recently vaccinated, but none were considered from vaccination.
Image: CC/ Government Newswire (Ministry of Health)
Benefits of getting the Pfizer vaccine outweigh the risk of Covid-19 infection and vaccine side effects, and this includes getting the rare side effect myocarditis.
CV-ISMB Chair Dr John Tait says there's assurance the Pfizer vaccine for use in New Zealand will continue to bring in more benefit then risks.
“We want to ensure that the outcomes from this investigation are widely available for others to learn from. The findings will be published to increase the scientific knowledge about vaccine-induced myocarditis,” Dr John Tait said.
“The Pfizer vaccine is highly effective in protecting against serious illness and death from COVID-19, and we remain confident about using it in New Zealand.”
Every year there's more than 100 people are discharged from hospitals diagnosed with myocarditis in New Zealand. To date, the rate is highest in young men but can occur in people of all ages after the first or second dose. According to CDC in the United States, the estimated rate is 23 cases per million in 12- to 39-year-olds.
Sources from The New England Journal of Medicine: an Israeli study of 250,000 vaccinated adults compares the risk of myocarditis following vaccination with the risk of myocarditis following infection from Covid-19.
Those who were vaccinated with Pfizer had an increased risk of developing myocarditis by a factor of 3. However, infection from the virus increased the risk of myocarditis by a factor of 18 — it also increased the risk of several other serious conditions.
Image: SUPPLIED/Ministry of Health [Government newswire – license applicable, unlimited use]
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