A 55-year-old Hong Kong woman who passed away four days after receiving the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine did not die as a direct result of the jab, according to an expert committee investigating the adverse effects of vaccinations.
A preliminary autopsy report, which was released on Monday following her death on Saturday, suggested the woman – who had suffered from high cholesterol and blood pressure – died following a stroke.
“There is unanimous opinion from the committee that there is no direct causality between inoculation and death,” committee co-convenor Professor Ivan Hung said.
Hung said the committee would only release its official findings after a thorough examination of the coroner’s full autopsy report.
The committee also found no direct causal link between the vaccine and the cases of two elderly patients who required intensive care treatment within days of receiving the jab over the weekend.
One of those patients, an 80-year-old male, had a history of high blood pressure and strokes, and the other, a 72-year-old female, had failed to take her insulin shots after suffering from lethargy, a possible side effect of the vaccine, the co-convenor said.
The panel said it would not make a diagnosis on what caused the death of a 71-year-old male with no history of chronic illness who passed away early on Monday morning at United Christian Hospital after receiving the Sinovac vaccine at a private clinic until it had seen the autopsy report.
Hung said the government will continue to monitor the situation, adding that statistics from 2018, before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, showed that chronic diseases such as diabetes killed at least one person a day in Hong Kong.
Centre for Health Protection Controller Ronald Lam said members of the public who suffer from chronic illnesses or allergic reactions to medication should consult their own doctor before deciding whether to be inoculated.
Three people have reportedly died within days of receiving the Sinovac jab since the vaccination drive began 12 days ago. A total of around 103,800 people have been vaccinated in Hong Kong, of that number, 101,700 received the Sinovac vaccine.
Tsim Sha Tsui lockdown
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government imposed the latest in a series of “ambush-style” overnight lockdowns in Tsim Sha Tsui on Monday evening. The operation ended at 7am on Tuesday morning, with no new cases of infections found among the 500-odd people tested.
City health officials visited 520 households in Tsim Sha Tsui Mansion on Nathan Road, half of which did not answer the door. Some unresponsive units were connected with confirmed infections or people undergoing quarantine. The government said it will “take measures to follow up.”
A compulsory order has been issued for anyone who had been in the area for more than two hours over the past two weeks to be tested by Wednesday.
“The government reiterates that enforcement actions will be taken seriously,” an official statement released on Tuesday said.
Anyone who fails to provide proof of having undergone Covid-19 testing in the area will be presented with a personal compulsory testing order and may be fined up to HK$5,000. Those who refuse to comply with the second compulsory order face a fine of up to HK$25,000 and six months imprisonment.
The government has sprung around 28 unannounced lockdowns on buildings across the city to conduct mandatory testing since late January in a bid to detect silent community transmissions. The operations have detected around 20 new infections.
Hong Kong reported nine new Covid-19 infections on Monday.