Health authorities are investigating the cause of death of a 63-year-old man who passed away at Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Sunday, two days after receiving a dose of China’s Sinovac vaccine.
The man had received a vaccine at the Kwun Chun Sports Centre in Jordan last Friday and was admitted to the hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning with breathing difficulties. His condition deteriorated rapidly and he died less than six hours later, the hospital’s Deputy Chief Executive Johnny Chan said on Tuesday.
The patient had suffered from chronic pulmonary disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Chan added that, because medical personnel were trying to save the man’s life, they had not immediately realised the man had recently received the Sinovac vaccine. The Hospital Authority informed the Department of Health of the death on Tuesday evening.
He also denied that the hospital had withheld the information from the public, saying there was no evidence of a causative link between the man’s death and adverse side effects from the vaccine, and that the patient had not evinced any allergic reactions before he died.
Meanwhile, controller for the Centre of Heath Protection Ronald Lam said an expert committee will investigate the cause of death “as soon as possible,” with a view to releasing a report in a timely manner.
“At the moment, the causal relationship with the vaccination could not be ascertained,” a statement from the Department of Health read. A spokesperson from the department said members of the public who suffer from adverse side effects after vaccination can inform the department, who will follow up and monitor the case.
The person in charge of the vaccination centre in Jordan, Samuel Kwok Po-yin, told reporters on Wednesday that they had received no further information about the case from the Department of Health, but that the patient had left the centre last Friday after the mandatory 30-minute observation period.
Concern among the community
The death has caused some to reconsider whether to take the vaccine, Kwok said.
Kwok told the press after visiting the Kwun Chun Sports Centre that he had seen fewer people at the centre on Wednesday morning, with some unwilling to receive the vaccination.
“Some people were worried about taking the vaccinations,” he said, adding that around a dozen people had refused the jab.
He said that people receiving vaccinations should disclose any pre-existing medical conditions to the health personnel at the vaccination centres.
He added that it was ultimately up to members of the public to decide for themselves whether they want to proceed with their vaccinations, jabs will only be administered with informed consent.
The city’s vaccination drive, which began last Friday, has seen over 254,000 online registrations. Over 13,000 people had received their vaccines as of Tuesday.
One 84-year-old male was sent to the hospital by ambulance on Tuesday from the Kowloon Bay vaccination centre after suffering from a headache and hypertension after receiving his shot. He remains in a stable condition.