18-Year-Old Dies After Free Flu Vaccination

  • By Yang Ji-ho

    October 20, 2020 10:02

    An 18-year-old high schooler in Incheon has died after being injected with a free flu vaccine.

    The incident occurred amid fears about the safety of flu vaccines administered by the government after a large batch were found to have been improperly stored during delivery or to contain white floating particles.

    "An 18-year-old who received a free government-procured vaccine injection at a private clinic in Incheon on Oct. 14 died on the morning of Oct. 16," Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency chief Jeong Eun-kyeong said Monday.

    The student suffered from an allergic nasal inflammation but did not have any chronic illness and showed no allergic reaction or fever after the injection. He was found dead in his room.

    People wait for their flu vaccinations in a hospital in Seoul on Monday. /Yonhap

    Health officials said the vaccine the student was given was not part of the batch that was recalled due to faulty storage or contamination. The government recalled 1.06 million doses.

    "We have not been able to confirm that the death was caused by the flu vaccine," Jeong said. "We are in the process of conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death," Jeong said. "We're looking into cases of unusual responses shown by other people who received the vaccine but have yet to find any."

    The agency waited three days after it was informed of the boy's death until it made it public on Monday. After being criticized for it, the agency said it needed time to assess and compile reports from the health clinic that administered the vaccine and regional epidemiological officials.

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