WECHU investigating death of retirement home resident after receiving COVID-19 vaccine
WINDSOR, ONT. -- The Windsor Essex County Health Unit confirmed an investigation is underway after a resident of a retirement home died following receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed says multiple agencies are looking into the death, including public health, the Coroner’s office, the home - which has not been identified by WECHU - and the province.
“We are aware of a death and right now it’s being investigated at this time,” says Ahmed. “Due to the personal and clinical nature of all of those details, I can’t share the outcome of what this investigation looks like.”
It is unknown if there is any link between the death and the vaccine.
“I don’t want people to think that this investigation is linked only because of the vaccine,” says Ahmed. “I just want to be very clear, this is not just necessarily that we are concerned about the vaccine. There are other factors, health history, a number of issues that need to be taken into consideration before we can even say that.”
The Office of the Chief Coroner confirmed the investigation in an email to CTV News.
“I can confirm the Office of the Chief Coroner is investigating a death that occurred in the post-vaccination period. As the death is still in the early stages of the investigation, we can not provide information on whether or not there was a relationship between the vaccine and death,” said Stephanie Rea, issues manager with the Office of the Chief Coroner.
Ahmed said it should not compromise people’s confidence in the vaccine.
“There are a number of things that we need to consider every time when we are talking about any kind of adverse events following immunization and that’s why these investigations are important,” says Ahmed.
Ahmed says so far, based on the international data, the vaccine continues to be safe.
WECHU began vaccinating residents of long-term care and retirement homes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the beginning of January.
To date, the Ontario government says more than 40 per cent of all long-term care homes across the province have had an opportunity to receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 83,000 long-term care residents, staff and essential caregivers have been vaccinated.