Health Officials Admit AstraZeneca Side Effects

      March 23, 2021 09:59

      Health officials on Monday said two cases of severe side effects after AstraZeneca vaccination were detected among the 676,607 people who received their jabs in Korea so far. It was the first time they admitted that the severe side effects are directly related to the vaccine.

      Ten cases of severe side effects were analyzed and the two could not be blamed on anything else. So far there have been 95 suspected cases of anaphylactic shock or severe allergic reaction, and the rest remain to be analyzed.


      One woman in her 20s had a severe anaphylactic reaction seven minutes after her AstraZeneca injection on March 8. She was given an emergency ephedrine injection and her symptoms subsided.

      The second case was a woman in her 40s in a care home who was given her AstraZeneca jab on March 3 and reacted with muscle spasms, high fever and low blood pressure 15 minutes later. The symptoms lasted for 12 hours.

      Suh Eun-sook, an investigator at the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, said, "She had already been suffering from epilepsy. She developed a fever after being vaccinated and became dehydrated, which we believe caused the seizures. They have now stopped."

      The other eight cases were probably unrelated to the vaccine based on patients' other illnesses and the time lapse after inoculation. Investigators recommended that AstraZeneca injections should continue but added that closer analysis is needed to determine whether the vaccine is closely linked to an increased risk of blood clots.

      Some 76.9 percent of patients over 65 in care homes have agreed to take their vaccination that started on Tuesday.

      President Moon Jae-in and First Lady Kim Jung-sook get their AstraZeneca vaccine shot at a health center in Seoul on Tuesday. /Yonhap

      Meanwhile, President Moon Jae-in and First Lady Kim Jung-sook got their jabs at a health center in Seoul's Jongno district near Cheong Wa Dae on Tuesday morning along with a dozen of officials, as he plans to travel to U.K. to attend the G7 summit in June.

      The daily tally of new infections stood at 346 on Monday morning, below 400 for the first time in about a week.

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