The family of a third person whose death is considered linked to the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine don’t want the teen’s case to be used to undermine vaccination efforts in Aotearoa.
Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said an independent board had reached the conclusion it was likely the person’s death was vaccine-related but that health teams would never know conclusively.
Bloomfield did not provide the person’s specific age when addressing media this afternoon but said they were a teenager.
He added their family also didn’t want the death to put people off being vaccinated or for it to be used by groups to try and undermine vaccination efforts in New Zealand.
In a statement last night, the Ministry of Health said the board had first reviewed the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring’s report of a death in December 2021 but at the time there was not enough information to determine the potential role of the vaccine.
“This is a tragic circumstance, and the board expresses their sympathy to the individual’s whānau and friends,” the ministry said.
In March 2022, the board met to consider all information available that showed the person had myocarditis at the time of death.
The person had received a dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in the weeks prior to their death. They did not have any symptoms before they died.
“The board considers that the development of myocarditis was possibly due to vaccination with the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.”
This case and two others are with coroners to determine the cause of death.
Bloomfield said the board had worked extensively in reaching its conclusions and had several conversations with the family.
“The family was very clear that they did not want this death, this unfortunate and very sad death, to in any way put people off from being vaccinated or to be used by groups to try and undermine vaccination efforts in New Zealand,” Bloomfield said.
More than four million first doses, 3.9 million second doses, and 2.6 million booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in New Zealand.
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