A 68-year-old woman died suddenly on Mar. 24, 2021 the day after getting the first dose of an experimental COVID-19 biologic in Kansas. Mother and grandmother Jeanie M. Evans experienced an anaphylactic reaction to the shot during the 15-minute observation period following administration of the biologic on Mar. 23 at the Keystone Early Learning Center in Ozawkie. She was subsequently transported by ambulance to Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka where she was pronounced dead the next day.1 2 3 4
It is unclear which COVID-19 biologic Evans received. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) status to three biologics, including Pfizer/BioNTech’s BNT162b2, Moderna’s mRNA-1273 and Johnson & Johnson’s Ad26.COV2.S. The cause of death is also unclear, although Evans’ funeral home obituary stated she died “unexpectedly” from “a reaction to the COVID vaccine.”2 3 4 5 6 7 8
A neighbor of Evans’, Melissa Eagle, said she saw Evans the day before her vaccination and that everything was normal. “I was devastated. I was in tears. How could something happen to her that way?” Eagle said.9
Kansas Health Officials, CDC and FDA Investigating Evan’s Death
“Until the investigation is complete, it is premature to assign a specific cause of death,” said Kristi Zears, spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). According to a news report, Evans’ death is under investigation by the KDHE, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA.2 9
“You really want to have a good understanding of the mechanism of death before you attribute it to something like [a vaccine]. The best way to do that is to ask yourself, is what happened in this case uniquely attributed to a vaccine or could it be a medical disease,” noted Steven Stites, MD of the University of Kansas Health System.10
This case has been entered into the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The FDA states that, “VAERS accepts reports of adverse events that may be associated with U.S. licensed vaccines from health care providers, manufacturers, and the public.” 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.2 11 12
Family Hires Law Firm to Investigate Case
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1 KSNT. Obituary for Kansas woman claims she died from a reaction to coronavirus vaccine. Mar. 25, 2021.
2 Moore K, Stark C. Kansas health officials investigate woman’s death after receiving COVID-19 vaccine. The Kansas City Star Mar. 26, 2021.
3 Salo J. Family claims Kansas woman died from COVID-19 vaccine reaction. New York Post Mar. 25, 2021.
4 TVR Staff. Woman Dies Minutes After Getting COVID-19 Vaccine at Cal Poly Pomona. The Vaccine Reaction Mar. 28, 2021.
5 Press release. FDA Takes Key Action in Fight Against COVID-19 By Issuing Emergency Use Authorization for First COVID-19 Vaccine. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Dec. 11, 2021.
6 Press release. FDA Takes Additional Action in Fight Against COVID-19 By Issuing Emergency Use Authorization for Second COVID-19 Vaccine. FDA Dec. 18, 2021.
7 Press release. FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for Third COVID-19 Vaccine. FDA Feb. 27, 2021.
8 Becker Dyer-Stanton Funeral Home. Jeanie Marie Evans (Myer).
9 Garrett D. Neighbor says woman acted fine days before obituary said she died following COVID-19 vaccine. KSNT Mar. 25, 2021.
10 Chung R. Kansas woman’s death after COVID-19 vaccination raises safety concerns, state health officials weigh in. KSN Mar. 25, 2021.
11 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VAERS Overview.
12 TVR Staff. Only One Percent of Vaccine Reactions Reported to VAERS. The Vaccine Reaction Jan. 9, 2020.
13 Donahue K. Family hires lawyer to investigate death following COVID-19 vaccine. WIBW Apr. 12, 2021.
14 Hrenchir T. A northeast Kansas woman died after getting a COVID shot. Her family has hired an attorney. The Topeke Capital-Journal Apr. 14, 2021.