A 78-year-old woman died on Feb. 12, 2021 after receiving the first dose of Pfizer/BioNTech’s experimental messenger RNA (mRNA) BNT162b2 vaccine for COVID-19 in California. The woman, whose name has not been released to the public, was given the injection at around 12:00 pm at a COVID-19 vaccination site at California State Polytechnic (Cal Poly) University in Pomona. Almost immediately after she got the shot, she started complaining of discomfort.1 2 3
According to Michael Morris, MD, the physician director of Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California vaccination program, which operates the Cal Poly vaccination site, the woman lost consciousness in the observation area minutes after being vaccinated.1 2 3 He confirmed:
[She] received an injection of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer around noon. While seated in the observation area after the injection, the patient complained of feeling discomfort and while being evaluated by medical personnel, she lost consciousness. .Paramedics on scene began CPR almost immediately and continued, but she ultimately could not be revived. Her cause of death has not been determined; however, there were no signs or symptoms of a severe allergic or anaphylactic reaction. Her family has shared that she had a history of heart- related illness.2 3
Dr. Morris dismissed a causal relationship between her death and the COVID-19 vaccination she received just before she died. “Early indications are that this very sad incident is not related to the vaccine,” Dr. Morris said. “Her cause of death has not been determined; however, there were no signs or symptoms of a severe allergic or anaphylactic reaction. The vaccination hub will remain open and vaccinations will continue as long as supplies are available.”1 2 3
It is unclear whether this death following COVID-19 vaccination was reported the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). VAERS accepts reports of adverse events that may be associated with U.S. licensed vaccines from health care providers, manufacturers, and the public.4 Jointly operated by the FDA and CDC, VAERS was created by Congress under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 in response to growing public concern about the safety of whole cell pertussis vaccine in DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus) and other childhood vaccines.5
Kansas Woman Dies After Anaphylactic COVID Vaccine Reaction
A 68-year old mother and grandmother, Jeanie M. Evans, died suddenly on Mar. 24, 2021 at Stormont-Vail Hospital in Topeka, Kansas after an anaphylactic reaction to COVID-19 vaccine. According to the Kansas City Star, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is investigating the death. Reportedly, she began experiencing anaphylaxis during the waiting period following administration of the shot and was transported to a hospital where she later died. A health department spokesperson said, “Until the investigation is complete, it is premature to assign a specific cause of death.”6
Other recent cases of people in California reported to have died shortly after having received COVID-19 vaccines include 60-year-old Tim Zook in Orange County who died on Jan. 9, 2021 four days after getting the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech’s BNT162b2 vaccine and a 64-year-old man in Placer County, CA who died on Jan. 21 three hours after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.7
If you would like to receive an e-mail notice of the most recent articles published in The Vaccine Reaction each week, click here.Click here to view References:
1 Balk T. Woman, 78, dies after receiving vaccine in California; no signs of link. New York Daily News Feb. 13, 2021.
2 CBSLA Staff. 78-Year-Old SoCal Woman Dies After Receiving First Dose of COVID Vaccine. CBS Los Angeles Feb. 13, 2021.
3 City News Service. 78-Year-Old Woman Dies After Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine; No Link Suspected. NBC Los Angeles Feb. 13, 2021.
4 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VAERS Overview.
5 TVR Staff. Only One Percent of Vaccine Reactions Reported to VAERS. The Vaccine Reaction Jan. 9, 2020.
6 Stark C. Kansas health officials investigate woman’s death after receiving COVID-19 vaccine. Kansas City Star Mar. 26, 2021.
7 Cáceres M. Why is Death After COVID-19 Vaccination Always Assumed to Be Coincidental? The Vaccine Reaction Mar. 1, 2021.