3 death reports received involving individuals Covid-vaccinated within 14 days before passing away, no clinical evidence they are linked to vaccination

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19th January 2022 – (Hong Kong)   In the preceding week till 11.59pm on 16th January, the Department of Health (DH) received 60 reports of adverse events following COVID-19 immunisation. No death case was reported by the Hospital Authority (HA) involving individuals who had received vaccines within 14 days before they passed away and had potential association with vaccination.

In the preceding week till 11.59pm on 16th January, the DH did not receive any reports of suspected myocarditis or pericarditis involving adolescents aged 12 to 15.

In the preceding week till 11.59pm on 16th January, the DH received three death reports involving individuals who had received COVID-19 vaccination within 14 days before passing away. The cases involved two females aged 73 and 95 respectively, and a male aged 59. There is no clinical evidence that the incidents arose from vaccination.

As at 8pm on 16th January, over 10.51 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered for members of the public. Around 5.13 million people had received at least one dose of vaccine, accounting for 76.2 per cent of the population aged 12 or above. The DH received 6,727 reports of adverse events (0.06 per cent of the total vaccine doses administered). Among the death cases concerning persons who had been vaccinated, including 58 cases (Note 2) with vaccination within 14 days before they passed away (0.0006 per cent of the total vaccine doses administered), none of the death cases was associated with vaccination.

As at 16th January, the Expert Committee on Clinical Events Assessment Following COVID-19 Immunisation had concluded that 38 death cases had no causal relationship with vaccination, and preliminarily considered that 15 cases were not associated with vaccination. Five cases are still pending further information for assessment. The Expert Committee considered that there is no unusual pattern identified so far, and will continue to closely monitor the relevant situation and collect data for assessment.

According to information from the HA, during the period from 20th December, 2021, to 16th January, 2022, the ratio of death cases out of those without a vaccination record was 150.8 cases for every 100,000 people, whereas the ratio of death cases for those with a vaccination record was 9.7 cases for every 100,000 people. The overall death rate is similar to that recorded in the past three years. Out of those without a vaccination record, the ratio of death cases with acute stroke or acute myocardial infarction was 7.4 cases for every 100,000 people, whereas the ratio of death cases under the same category for those with a vaccination record was 0.8 cases for every 100,000 people. Furthermore, the ratio of miscarriage cases out of those without a vaccination record was 33.3 cases for every 100 000 people, whereas the ratio of miscarriage cases for those who had a vaccination record was 11.6 cases for every 100,000 people. Based on the statistical analysis of the above figures, there is no evidence that vaccination increases the risk of death or miscarriage for recipients. The relevant reference statistics will be uploaded to the thematic website for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

The majority of non-death cases of adverse events received so far are relatively minor cases.

 “The COVID-19 vaccination rate for the elderly aged 80 or above in Hong Kong is only around 27 per cent at present, meaning that 73 per cent of the elderly in that age group are in a dangerous situation, which is alarming. The Comirnaty and CoronaVac vaccines are highly effective in preventing severe cases and deaths from COVID-19. They can provide effective protection to those vaccinated in preventing serious complications and even death after infection. The Government has expanded the third dose vaccination programme to include all people who have received two doses of vaccines for a period of time. We call on members of the public who are currently eligible for a third dose to get the dose as soon as possible. As for those not yet vaccinated, especially senior citizens, chronic patients and other immunocompromised persons who face a much higher chance of death after COVID-19 infection, they should get vaccinated as early as possible for better self-protection,” a Government spokesman said.

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