Woman dies from possible ‘rare side effect’ after receiving Pfizer vaccine

A woman who got the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine "probably" died due to myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle in a "very rare" side effect, according to the independent vaccine safety monitoring board.

It was also noted that other medical issues in the woman could have "influenced the outcome following vaccination".

The official cause of death has not yet been determined.

But the Covid-19 Vaccine Independent Safety Monitoring Board says the myocarditis was "probably due to vaccination".

In a statement, it said: "This is the first case in New Zealand where a death in the days following vaccination has been linked to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

"While the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring has received other reports of deaths in someone recently vaccinated, none are considered related to vaccination."

The death is currently being investigated further and a coroner is due to make a ruling on the case, BBC reported.

Further details about the woman have not been released by officials.

The European Medicines Agency claimed myocarditis was a "very rare" side effect of the Covid vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna.

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Adding that it was usually more common in younger men.

Symptoms of myocarditis can include new onset chest pain, shortness of breath and an abnormal heartbeat.

Experts are urging anyone with these symptoms to seek medical attention immediately.

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On Monday New Zealand officials said they "remain confident about using it in New Zealand".

According to Johns Hopkins University, the country has seen 3,465 Covid cases and 26 deaths so far.

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New Zealand was previously praised for its smart handling of the virus, but has since been slow to see a roll-out of vaccines despite ramping up in recent days.

More than three million vaccine doses have now been given out, and 23% of the population are fully vaccinated.

A recent spike in Covid cases, largely attributed to the Delta variant, has put sections of the country into lockdown.

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There are currently more than 560 cases in the country that is home to about 5 million people.

Residents are looking forward to restriction easing on Tuesday, barring the country's biggest city Auckland.

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