The Department of Health said on Monday evening that a 61-year-old man had died of a suspected heart attack, 12 days after he received his first dose of the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine.
The death will be investigated by a government expert committee, to see if there is any link between the man’s death and the vaccine he received on March 16.
The department said the man had his first dose of the two-dose regimen at the Yuen Wo Road Sports Centre Community Vaccination Centre in Sha Tin on March 16, and there’s no record of him complaining of feeling unwell afterwards while he was under observation.
The man, who the department said was a chronic smoker, was admitted to Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital’s accident and emergency department on March 27 after he complained of pain in his chest and left shoulder.
The man developed an abnormal heart rate and suffered cardiac arrest before dying on Sunday.
The man is the 13th person to die in the city after they received a coronavirus vaccination. Eleven of these people received the Sinovac vaccine, while two received the BioNTech jab.
Up to Sunday, around 662,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered. Some 292,600 people have received their first dose of the Sinovac vaccine, while 18,500 people had received both doses. Around 151,300 people had received the BioNTech vaccine, which has been suspended since March 24 because of packaging defects.
“As a whole population, people with acute medical conditions of various severities are admitted to hospitals every day,” the Department of Health said in a statement.
“With the commencement of the vaccination programme, it is anticipated that more patients with acute medical conditions will have received vaccines and reports of such cases might increase with the increasing vaccination uptake.”
“It is important for the surveillance system in place to monitor these adverse events following Covid-19 vaccination and to conduct causality assessment based on a scientific and objective approach to ensure that any untoward outcome would not go unnoticed,” the department added.
The department said that there were 3,740 deaths due to heart diseases in 2019. And, according to Hospital Authority data, there were about 7,300 hospital admissions in 2020 due to heart attacks.