One Woman’s Death Possibly from Myocarditis Linked to Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine

New Zealand is reporting the first death of a person shortly after the vaccine was administered.

New Zealand’s COVID-19 Vaccine Independent Safety Monitoring Board (CV-ISMB) announced in a statement that a woman has died shortly after her Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The CV-ISMB has considered that the woman’s death was due to myocarditis, which is known to be a rare side effect of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

It is important to note, the case has been referred to the coroner’s office and the cause of death has not yet been determined. The CV-ISMB noted that there were other medical issues occurring at the same time which may have influenced the outcome following vaccination.

“We want to ensure that the outcomes from this investigation are widely available for others to learn from. The findings will be published to increase the scientific knowledge about vaccine-induced myocarditis,” Dr John Tait, CV-ISMB Chair, said.

Adverse events following vaccinations are reported to the Center for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) in New Zealand. All cases with a fatal outcome are referred to the monitoring board. CARM provides information on the case for the clinical experts on the CV-ISMB to help them in their consideration of whether there was a link to vaccination.

This is the first case in the country where a death in the days following vaccination has been linked to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. While CARM has received other reports of deaths in someone recently vaccinated, none are considered related to vaccination.

In terms of its approach to COVID-19, New Zealand has had a zero tolerance for dealing with the virus, and when cases are reported, the country has been put on lockdown. As of today, there were 55 new cases reported in the country in the last 24 hours.

Early on in the pandemic, this approach helped the country quickly rid it of COVID-19, but with the evolution of the Delta variant, the incidence rate has increased.

No timeline was established on the investigation of the woman’s death.