S.Korea probing two deaths after AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine

A medical worker (right) receives the first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine Covid-19 at the National Medical Centre vaccination centre in Seoul February 27, 2021. — Pool pic via Reuters
A medical worker (right) receives the first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine Covid-19 at the National Medical Centre vaccination centre in Seoul February 27, 2021. — Pool pic via Reuters

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SEOUL, March 3 ― South Korean authorities said today they are investigating the deaths of two people after a media report said the pair ― both with pre-existing conditions ― died within days of receiving AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine.

A 63-year-old nursing home patient with cerebrovascular disease developed symptoms, including high fever, after being given the AstraZeneca vaccine, Yonhap news agency reported. The person was moved to a larger hospital yesterday, but died after showing symptoms of blood poisoning and pneumonia, Yonhap said.

Another person in their 50s with a cardiac disorder and diabetes died today after suffering multiple heart attacks, having received the same vaccine a day earlier, the agency said.

An official with the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) told Reuters it was investigating the cause of the deaths, but did not elaborate or confirm the details of Yonhap's report.

An AstraZeneca spokeswoman in Seoul said the company had no comment at present.

South Korea began vaccinating its population last week. By yesterday midnight, 85,904 people had received first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 1,524 had been given Pfizer shots, KDCA said in a statement.

South Korea reported 444 new confirmed Covid-19 cases yesterday, up from 344 on Monday, raising the country's tally to 90,816 infections, with 1,612 deaths. ― Reuters

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