Japan’s health ministry admitted to a second “undeniable” causal relationship between a COVID-19 vaccination and death after a hitherto healthy teenager was found unresponsive following a third inoculation against the novel coronavirus.
According to a paper by a research team from Tokushima University, which conducted a judicial autopsy at the request of Tokushima prefectural police, the girl received the mRNA vaccine manufactured by Pfizer Inc. of the United States last August.
She developed a fever the following day, which subsided in the evening. After going to bed, she awoke temporarily and complained of breathing difficulties. The next day, her family noticed she had stopped breathing.
Forty-five hours after the vaccination, the girl was confirmed dead.
Hideyuki Nushida, an associate professor of forensic medicine at the university who was involved in the autopsy, said her heart, lungs, liver and other organs were inflamed.
Based on the fact the patient died so quickly after being vaccinated, coupled with other findings in and outside Japan, an expert committee of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare determined that the arrhythmia was most likely caused by myopericarditis that developed as a result of the vaccination.
The panel concluded there was no reason for undue alarm about the vaccination system.
The ministry reiterated that people should seek medical attention as soon as possible if they experience symptoms such as chest pain or breathing difficulties after receiving a vaccination jab.
“No drug is completely safe,” Nushida said. “We need to continue to investigate issues concerning COVID-19 vaccines, which use a new technology called mRNA that differs from conventional vaccines.”
A total of 2,076 deaths related to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine had been reported to the ministry by April 30, officials said. Although the frequency of deaths varied, according to the types of vaccines, the figure came to approximately one to nine deaths per million inoculations.
Previously, the only case in which a causal relationship between vaccination and death was deemed “undeniable” occurred in a 42-year-old woman who was vaccinated in Aichi Prefecture last November.
The causal relationship could not be evaluated in 99.4 percent of the 2,076 cases due to insufficient information. However, no causal relationship was found in 0.5 percent, or 11, of the cases.
(This article was written by Kazuya Goto, Mirei Jinguji and Kenta Noguchi.)