UPDATED: 11 persons died after taking COVID vaccine ... But jabs did not cause their deaths
The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) has classified the deaths of two persons who passed away after receiving shots of the COVID-19 vaccine as indeterminate.
Nine other deaths have been classified as coincidental, according to Dr Melody Ennis, director of Family Health Services in the ministry.
“We looked at 11 persons who would have died after receiving the vaccine, nine of which we have found to be coincidental based on our causality assessment," Ennis said.
In the case of the two person whose deaths have been classified as being indeterminate, Ennis said, "We say so because of the temporal relationship that occurred. So we are not sure what is happening, but it happened around the time of being vaccinated,” she said during the latest COVID Conversations on Thursday.
She said that the 'intermediate temporal' as in international classification that is used in causality assessment.
The island’s chief medical officer, Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, said that the vaccines have not been linked to any of the deaths.
“While we have had deaths in persons who have taken the vaccine, either one or two doses, we have not attributed that it is the vaccine that caused it. It's not a cause, we have not established any cause,” she said.
As of Thursday evening, just over 785,800 persons doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered. The ministry has received 353 reports of serious adverse reactions to the vaccines.
“When we speak to serious cases we look at persons who have been hospitalised, persons who may have had temporary or permanent disability, persons who may have died after being vaccinated,” Ennis stated.
Ennis also disclosed that the investigation into 17 of those cases is now closed, while adding that 56 per cent of persons examined complained about being dizzy, or had experienced an allergic reaction or palpitations.
Meanwhile, Bisasor-McKenzie said that Jamaica has seen a slight decrease in the number of positive cases and admissions. But she noted that Jamaica still has a high level of geographical spread.
“Now is not the time to let your guards down. We still have a high level of bed occupancy, we still need to get that down so that we can resume normal hospital activity. We have a high transmission level, still in the 20s, almost 30 per cent for a seven-day positivity rate. Our target is to get that down below five per cent. The reproductive rate is trending positively and it is below one. We want to get it back down to 0.5, below 0.3. And at our vaccination level, we still need every person to come out for vaccination because we are still at a low level of vaccination and the level at which we are at will not affect our transmission level at this time,” she said. As of Wednesday, Jamaica has recorded 83,737 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 1,869 fatalities.