March 18, 2021 13:25
Another case of blood clots after coronavirus vaccination was reported here Thursday after health authorities belatedly admitted that the first had been found last week.
The first victim, a woman in her 60s, died last week after her AstraZeneca injection, but it is not yet known which vaccine the second victim, a man in his 20s, was given.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency hushed up the discovery of the first case for more than a week.
KDCA chief Jeong Eun-kyeong on Wednesday admitted to lawmakers, "We have one autopsy report" about blood clots "and plan to review the case." But the KDCA had known about the case since last week and concealed it while insisting that no such cases had occurred in Korea.
Similar cases have prompted several European countries to suspend AstraZeneca shots, and in Korea nearly one-third of people who have already been given their first shot have reported adverse reactions.
The woman was given her injection on Feb. 26, according to Jeong. She then apparently developed breathing problems and unhealthy pallor and died on March 6. Police discovered the blood clots in an autopsy two days later.
The main causes of death were determined to be aspiration pneumonia and heart attack, and the KDCA has yet to confirm the final results and whether the heart attack was caused by the blood clots.
According to data People Power Party lawmaker Baek Jong-heon obtained from the KDCA, health authorities were informed on March 6 of the woman's adverse response to the vaccine, which prompted an epidemiological investigation. But the KDCA explicitly told reporters as recently as Tuesday this week that no cases of blood clots had been found in Korea, a claim it had made almost every day until then.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is increasingly under scrutiny worldwide amid growing reports of side effects.
A KDCA spokesman said blood clotting was "not the main cause" of the woman's death and claimed the agency had been "intended to make an announcement after the autopsy results came out."
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