The Ministry of Health of China has reported that two people have died after receiving swine flu shots. While death after immunization does not necessarily mean that the death was caused by the administration of the vaccine, these occurrences need to be monitored and investigated.
Both fatalities reportedly died within hours after receiving the vaccine. One of them was a teacher from Hunan province. The preliminary autopsy report, however, reveals that the cause of the teacherâ€™s death may have been a heart attack while playing basketball. The Ministry is ruling the death as a â€œcoincidental medical incidentâ€ that is not in any way tied with or caused by the administration of swine flu vaccine. There were no details regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of the other person.
While investigation is ongoing regarding the second death, health officials have reportedly pulled all the batch of vaccines to which the dose used to immunize the teacher belonged. This may have been done in order to ensure that if a tie-in will be made to the batch of vaccines, no other people will receive the doses in question.
China has taken a rather aggressive approach towards swine flu, with the government asking biotech companies to develop a pandemic swine flu vaccine way back in June. It was Sinovac, a company based in Beijing, that was able to develop the first approved swine flu vaccine. They were also the first to conduct trials and report that a single dose of vaccine is enough protection against swine flu.
China started its swine flu vaccination programs in September, the first country in the world to do so.