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Individual in California dies hours after receiving COVID-19 vaccine

The person had tested positive for the virus in late December.
Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 6:17 PM CST
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PLACER CO., Calif. (WMTV/KMAX) - Local, state, and federal health agencies are investigating after someone in California died shortly after receiving the coronavirus vaccine.

According to Placer Co. (Calif.) Public Health, the person, whose name was not released, received their injection on January 21 and died several hours later. Little is known about the individual, including their age, gender, or which vaccine they received.

Health officials did note the person had tested positive for COVID-19 in late December, prior to receiving the vaccine. However they did not indicate that may have played a part in the individual’s death.

“(A)ny reports surrounding the cause of death are premature, pending the outcome of the investigation,” the agency said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased.”

The agency also noted the vaccine wasn’t given by one of its workers.

Health officials hope a forthcoming autopsy will offer new clues in how the person died.

A UC-Davis infectious disease expert, Dr. Dean Blumberg, pointed out that all health care professionals are taking care to report any adverse events that happen after someone receives the vaccine, even if it doesn’t seem to be related.

“They might have other things that are basically random, like they might get into a car accident,” he said.

Although Blumberg isn’t familiar with this particular case, he notes that the vaccines aren’t a shot in the dark, saying there have not been an increase of deaths attributed to the vaccine and thousands of people were studied prior to its approval.

The California Dept. of Public Health released a statement saying, in part, that the agency “take(s) these instances seriously and (they) are working with government partners to investigate.

CDPH says they will use data and science to figure out how to move forward.

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