Two cardiac patients die after Covid shots

The state Health Department, however, claimed that an investigation was being done to ascertain the cause of death.

Two elderly persons, with a medical history of cardiac ailments, died earlier this week after they were administered Covishield, a Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, in North Bengal’s Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts.

The state Health Department, however, claimed that an investigation was being done to ascertain the cause of death.
“The investigation is ongoing. A preliminary report suggests that both of these unfortunate deaths were probably due to natural cause of pre-existing cardiac conditions and coincidental to the vaccination in nature,” said Dr Ajay Chakraborty, Director of Health and Services.

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Parul Dutta, 75, was vaccinated in Darjeeling around 3.30 pm on March 8 and returned home without any problem. At 6pm, she suffered bouts of diarrhoea and uneasiness and was brought to Batasi Primary Health Centre at Kharibari block. “As her condition deteriorated, she was referred to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital at 7.30 pm. But she died around 9.30 pm due to atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat). She was under treatment for atrial fibrillation for a long time,” said a health official.

In the second case, 65-year-old Krishna Dutta was given the first dose of Covishield at Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri at 10.50 am on March 8 and went back home without any symptoms. According to health sources, he started vomiting at 4.30 pm. Around 5am the next day, he developed sudden breathlessness and expired at his home within half an hour.

“He was suffering from hypertension for last five to six years. The post mortem examination has revealed multiple cardiac problems, including cardiomegaly and cardiac muscle fibrosis, suggestive of old infarction. The final report is awaited and will be placed before the causality assessment committee,” said the official. Health officials claimed that for such sudden deaths, vaccination was an unlikely cause in this age group as the victims suffered from pre-existing cardiac diseases. However, an expert team is analysing post mortem findings and other evidence.

“The District and State AEFI Committee is investigating, and will ascertain and finalise the cause of death very soon,” said another health official.

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