Two Hong Kong residents are in serious condition after receiving Chinese vaccine Sinovac COVID-19, the Hong Kong government announced on Sunday that a 55-year-old chronically ill woman died four days after receiving her vaccine—the second related death in the city.
COVID-19 is a disease caused by the CCP (Communist Party of China) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus virus.
On Sunday, 8,100 people were vaccinated with Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine, which was 82.3 per cent of daily vaccination appointments, according to the Health Department of the City.
However, two residents were left in serious condition after vaccination on Saturday and had to be transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU). According to local media reports, two others were sent to hospitals following a milder adverse reaction to the vaccine.
Three people were also admitted to the hospital on Saturday after receiving the vaccine. All patients had mild reactions and were discharged for treatment. Symptoms included skin rash, heart discomfort, dizziness, high blood pressure, and shaking.
A total of 83,400 people received CoronaVac vaccinations in the city by Saturday.
The health department reported that mild conditions were caused by the vaccine, while the cause of death and serious reactions remained unclear.
Hong Kong Secretary for Health and Food Sophia Chan told the local radio programme that Hong Kongers can consult their family physicians prior to the COVID-19 vaccination if they have any concerns.
The Hong Kong Health Department confirmed on Saturday that the second death of the 55-year-old woman was due to an acute stroke on Friday.
According to the department, the woman had a history of high blood pressure, high blood lipids, and proteinuria, but she could still work.
On March 2, the woman received the first dose of CoronaVac at the local community vaccination centre. At 7:00 p.m. on Friday, when she lost control of the left side of her body, she worked her usual job. She was rushed to hospital by ambulance and was diagnosed with a stroke. She died at 4:51 a.m. on Saturday morning.
It is not clear whether the vaccine contributed to the death of the woman. The authorities said that they would perform an autopsy and investigate the cause of death.
Hong Kong’s first death was a 63-year-old man with a history of diabetes. He received a vaccine from Sinovac on Feb. 26 and died on Feb. 28. The Hong Kong administration said that his death was not due to vaccination.
The first ICU case is an 80-year-old man with a history of diabetes, carotid atherosclerosis, hypertension, and stroke. He received the vaccine on Monday and called for an ambulance on Saturday for chest pain. He was in a very serious condition on Sunday, according to the department, after not responding well to the treatment.
The second ICU case is a 72-year-old woman who also has a history of diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and hypothyroidism. She received the vaccine on Saturday but skipped two doses of insulin she took every day when she felt ill after the vaccination. When her condition declined on Sunday morning, her family sent her to the hospital where they found that she had severe diabetic ketoacidosis.
Chinese authorities have approved three types of emergency use COVID-19 vaccines, including CoronaVac and two inactivated Sinopharm virus vaccines, but only for people aged 18 to 59, saying that ‘other age groups need to wait for further clinical trials of the vaccines.’
The Hong Kong government, however, approved CoronaVac and suggested that seniors should be vaccinated.
The efficacy of Sinovac’s CoronaVac was found to be 50.4 per cent in its most recent clinical vaccine trials in Brazil—just over the WHO’s 50 per cent regulatory approval threshold. The rate is also lower than that of the U.S.-developed vaccines, with Pfizer-BioNTech at 95 percent and Moderna at 94.1 percent. Elderly deaths have been reported in those receiving Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. But so far, the U.S. CDC maintains that investigations have shown no link between deaths and vaccines.
The 33-year-old Indonesian nurse died of COVID-19 on Feb. 14. She received one shot of CoronaVac on Jan. 28. She was healthy at the time, according to her manager.
Vaccinations in Hong Kong
Hong Kong authorities have only approved three types of emergency vaccines: Chinese company Sinovac’s CoronaVac, Chinese partner Pfizer Fosun Pharma and German company BioNTech’s Comirnaty, and single-dose Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The government began to vaccinate its people on Feb. 22. Nobody had the chance to receive their second dose since they had to wait 28 days.
Due to the shipment schedule, the majority of vaccines received by Hong Kongers are provided by Sinovac.
The Hong Kong Health Department announced on Sunday night that “about 93,000 people were vaccinated against COVID-19, with 91,800 receiving their first dose of Sinovac and about 1,200 receiving their first dose of Comirnaty.”