2 patients die after AstraZeneca Covid jab in S Korea (Ld)


Two patients at the long-term care hospitals in South Korea’s Gyeonggi province died after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19, the first cases of deaths since the country launched its nationwide vaccination programme last week.

A 50-something patient with multiple underlying diseases died at a hospital in Goyang on Wednesday, just outside of Seoul’s northwestern border, after receiving the vaccine shot on Tuesday morning, according to health officials, Yonhap news agency reported.

The patient began to show symptoms of heart failure and difficulty in breathing by the afternoon but recovered after being put under emergency care. The symptoms recurred on Wednesday morning before the patient died.

Health officials said they are yet to determine whether the patient suffered side-effects from the vaccine. The patient’s preexisting conditions included heart problems, diabetes and a stroke.

The second patient, who was at a long-term care hospital in Pyeongtaek, 70 km south of Seoul, died on Wednesday morning, four days after being administered with the AstraZeneca vaccine, health officials said.

The 63-year-old man with cerebrovascular disease had shown severe symptoms, such as a high fever and pantalgia, since receiving the vaccine jab last Saturday.

As the patient’s condition worsened, he was rushed to a higher-level hospital on Tuesday, but he passed away while showing symptoms of blood poisoning and pneumonia, according to officials.

An investigation is currently underway to find whether the death had anything to do with the vaccination, officials said.

Local quarantine officials of Gyeonggi province, home to both cities, earlier said the 63-year-old Pyeongtaek resident marked the nation’s first case of a severe adverse reaction from a Covid-19 vaccine, along with a 50-something man in Uijeongbu, also in the same province, since the national inoculation campaign began on Friday.