AT LEAST 18 vaccinated individuals in Cebu who experienced serious adverse reactions following their vaccination against the Covid-19 have died; but the Visayas Covid-19 Vaccination Operations Center (VVOC) stressed the deaths have no direct link or causality to the vaccine.
Mary Jean Loreche, VVOC spokesperson, said the 18 deaths were among 31 mortalities in Central Visayas logged on VigiFlow, the country’s database of adverse events following immunization (AEFIs), as of Sept. 14, 2021.
These 18 verified AEFI deaths in Cebu represent only .0017 percent of the 1,009,073 individuals already inoculated in Cebu with the first dose of the vaccine.
A total of 782,526 have been fully vaccinated in the entire Cebu as of Sept. 15.
In Metro Cebu alone composed of the local government units (LGUs) of Cebu City, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Talisay City, City of Naga, Minglanilla, Consolacion, and Cordova, the number of eligible vaccinees total 1,818,312.
The VigiFlow did not specify whether the 18 serious AEFI cases who died were fully vaccinated or just first-dose recipients.
The report also failed to specify which LGUs in Cebu accounted for the 18 AEFI recorded deaths as well the casualties’ age and gender.
A serious AEFI case is when the vaccinated individual requires either a checkup in a healthcare facility due to a life-threatening condition that is brought about by the vaccine like anaphylactic reactions or allergies.
Database from VigiFlow showed that 99 serious AEFIs were logged as of Sept. 14; eighty two of the 99 reported serious AEFIs as of Sept. 14 were reported from the 1,313,659 individuals vaccinated with the first dose; while the remaining 17 serious AEFIs were from the 1,077,148 fully-vaccinated individuals.
Of the 99 serious AEFIs, 49 were already evaluated by a panel of specialists and it was found that 18 had been declared “recovered” while 31 died.
“It’s difficult to say the vaccine played a contributory role in these deaths,” Loreche said.
“As per review and analysis of medical records, timeline of events, there are other circumstances present other than the vaccination,” she added.
Loreche earlier said that based on their review of the first batch of AEFI cases, the patients died not because of the vaccine, but because they had co-existing morbidities.
She said the causes of deaths of those who experienced severe AEFI include cardiac arrest due to hypertensive heart disease, respiratory arrest, sudden cardiac death, and myocardial infarction or heart attack.
She then gave a few tips for persons with comorbidities before receiving the vaccine against Covid-19.
“Have a good night’s rest. Be forward with your medical condition during screening and don’t forget your maintenance medicines,” she said.
“During and after vaccination, be attuned to your body and if you feel something that’s out of the ordinary, even as minor as headache or fever, report to the vaccination team or to VigiFlow. And if there are warning signals like chest pain or blood pressure that is erratic, seek immediate consultation,” Loreche added.
She also assured that all vaccine brands are good even for persons with comorbidities.