New Zealand woman dies after receiving Pfizer vaccine

New Zealand on Monday reported what authorities said was the country’s first recorded death linked to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The information was released by the health ministry following a review by an independent COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring board of the death of a woman after receiving the vaccine.

The board said the woman’s death was “probably” due to myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle. It also noted there were other medical issues which could have “influenced the outcome following vaccination”. European regulators say myocarditis is a “very rare” side effect and that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the risks. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle that can limit the organ’s ability to pump blood and can cause changes in heartbeat rhythms. “This is the first case in New Zealand where a death in the days following vaccination has been linked to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine,” the health ministry said. The case has been referred to the coroner and the cause of death has not yet been determined, the health ministry said. The woman’s death is being investigated further and a coroner is due to rule on the case. Officials have not released any further details, including the woman’s age. The board also noted that there were other medical issues occurring at the same time which may have influenced the outcome following vaccination.

“The benefits of vaccination with the Pfizer Covd-19 vaccine continue to greatly outweigh the risk of both Covid-19 infection and vaccine side effects, including myocarditis,” it added. The EMA has urged people to continue to get vaccinated, as they help to stop people from getting very sick with Covid-19. So far the Pfizer/BioNTech, Janssen and AstraZeneca vaccines have been provisionally approved by New Zealand authorities. However, the Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine that has been approved for rollout to the public.