Vaccinated rescue worker dies, cause of death not yet known

Vaccines. Source: Ravimiamet

A 31-year-old male rescue worker vaccinated against coronavirus in February died on Wednesday (March 3) but it is not yet known if the vaccine played a role, Estonia's Agency of Medicines has said.

The man received the AstraZeneca vaccine on February 17. After the vaccination, he developed a headache and fever, which are common side effects but it is not known how long the side-effects lasted.

Ten days after receiving the vaccine, the man was hospitalized and died on Wednesday.

The State Agency of Medicines has said it is not yet known if the vaccine or its side effects played a role and it will take time to determine.

"Today, there is too little data to assess whether the vaccine may be related to health problems or death," said Maia Uusküla, head of the bureau of pharmacovigilance at the Estonian Agency of Medicines, at the government's press conference on Wednesday.

Uusküla urged people to inform the agency if side effects last more than three or four days. She said the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and people should not be worried. A fever or headache experienced after vaccination usually disappear within one or two days, Uusküla added.

Postimees reported that Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) also said that at present it is not possible to draw conclusions on the cause of death on the basis of preliminary information. 

The State Agency of Medicines said, as of 28 February, 486 adverse drug reactions have been reported in connection to the AstraZeneca vaccine in Estonia, 708 with the Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine and 15 with the Moderna vaccine.

Vaccination of rescue workers started in mid-February.

On Thursday, government ministers said information about the death was made public to stop rumors spreading on social media which could lead to distrust in the vaccines.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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