12 Apr 2022

Ministry of Health announces third death linked to vaccine

5:20 pm on 12 April 2022

New Zealand has recorded its third death considered to be linked to the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination.

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Photo: AFP

The Covid-19 Vaccine Independent Safety Monitoring Board notified the Ministry of Health of the death today.

The board reported that the person had myocarditis at the time of death.

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart wall and is caused by a viral infection.

In the weeks before their death, the person had received a dose of the Pfizer vaccine and the board said it is possible this caused the myocarditis.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the person who died was a teenager who had not had any symptoms.

"The family were very clear that they didn't want this death, this unfortunate and very sad death to in any way put people off from being vaccinated or to be used by groups to try and undermine vaccination efforts in New Zealand," Dr Bloomfield said.

"What I would say of course, this was a young person, a teenager, and very sad that this young person has died. The independent safety monitoring board has put a lot of thought and effort and work and consultation with the pathologist and the coroner in reaching it's conclusions and had quite a number of conversations with the family.

"The consensus of the independent board was it was most likely this was vaccine related - we will never know, there is still some doubt."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her thoughts were with the teenager's family.

"As with anyone who experiences negative impacts from medicines, my thoughts are with the family and that should be first and foremost, but of course I would hope that what people would see is the transparency that we've had with reporting since the very beginning."

This is the third death in New Zealand that is considered to be linked to the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

More than 4 million first doses of vaccine have been given in New Zealand.

All three cases are with coroners to determine the cause of death.

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