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(LEAD) S. Korea reaffirms no link between COVID-19 vaccinations and deaths

National 15:43 April 12, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info in paras 6-10)
By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's health authorities on Monday said there is no causal relation between COVID-19 vaccines and 11 reported deaths after vaccinations, assuring the public of the safety of the vaccines.

An investigation was concluded on 11 out of 47 people who died within days of receiving COVID-19 vaccines by AstraZeneca and Pfizer Inc, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Citizens receive COVID-19 vaccines at a vaccination center in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, on April 12, 2021, as the rollout of the controversial AstraZeneca vaccines resumed. (Yonhap)

An epidemiological survey on 32 out of 47 reported cases has been concluded so far, the KDCA said.

The KDCA said all of the 11 people were over 70 years old with pre-existing diseases, and seven of them had been admitted to long-term care facilities.

The authorities concluded that their deaths were highly likely to be connected to their pre-existing conditions, including stroke and dementia.

The authorities also said they will continue to conduct epidemiological surveys on 15 other reported deaths, adding that the safety of the vaccine has been extensively studied in clinical trials.

The KDCA said of the four reported cases of serious symptoms after vaccinations, only one of them has been proven to be linked to vaccines.

The man in his 20s was diagnosed with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) after being administered with the AstraZeneca vaccine, the KDCA said.

"He did not have any pre-existing diseases, and the disease rarely occurs," the agency said, adding that the patient has fully recovered.

The European drug agency also earlier said it could not rule out a correlation between rare cases of CVST and AstraZeneca vaccines.

Since the country started its vaccination program on Feb. 26, a total of 1,157,255 people have been given COVID-19 vaccine shots, including 305 the previous day.

AstraZeneca's vaccine has been given to 916,780 people, while 240,475 received that of Pfizer, the KDCA said.

Health authorities also resumed administering AstraZeneca vaccines to eligible recipients aged over 30 earlier in the day, days after temporarily putting the program on hold amid growing concerns over its safety.

Health authorities have also said the government will provide adequate compensation for serious side or adverse effects from the scheduled shots. The government will cover costs for hospital stays and other kinds of treatment costs


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