Canadian public health officials are investigating the death of a Florida doctor who received the Pfizer vaccine against the novel coronavirus just weeks earlier, Health Canada told Sputnik on Friday.
On Tuesday, Heidi Neckelmann said in a social media post that her husband Gregory Michael, an obstetrician at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida, died after receiving the vaccine on December 18. Neckelmann explained that Michael developed petechiae – round spots that appear on the skin as a result of bleeding – three days after receiving the vaccine and died of hemorrhagic stroke weeks later. “We’re looking into this. Stay tuned,” Health Canada’s media relations department said in an email.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement on Wednesday that it is “aware” of the death of Michael.
Pfizer, which developed the vaccine in conjunction with German biotechnology company BioNTech, told USA Today that it is “actively investigating this case,” although said that it did not believe that the vaccine played a role in the Florida physician’s death. The CDC has logged 21 cases where individuals experienced anaphylaxis – a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that can occur after vaccination – after vaccination between December 14 and 23, according to a report made public on Wednesday.
There have been reports of fatalities following immunization in Israel and Switzerland, however, no links have been established between the death and the vaccination.
Pfizer was the first vaccine against the deadly disease approved by Canadian health regulators and the first dose was administered on December 14 to a personal support worker in a long-term care home in Toronto.