EFFINGHAM, Kan. (KWCH) – It is being investigated whether an Atchison County woman died from the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to an obituary at Becker-Dyer-Stanton Funeral Home, Jeanie M. Evans, 68, of Effingham “died unexpectedly on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, at Stormont-Vail Hospital from a reaction to the Covid vaccine. “
On Thursday, Eyewitness News contacted the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KHDE) regarding Evans’ death. The agency issued the following statement:
“KDHE learned this morning of the death of a 68-year-old Atchison County resident. The resident was vaccinated in Jefferson County and, according to the Local Health Department, the appropriate CDC guidelines were followed. During the waiting period after the vaccine was administered, the individual began to experience anaphylaxis and was given medical treatment. The resident was taken to a local hospital where the individual later passed away. Death will be thoroughly investigated according to standard protocol. Until the investigation is complete, it is premature to assign a specific cause of death.
The Local Health Department entered the death in VAERS, the Reporting system for adverse reactions to vaccines, a national vaccine safety surveillance program led by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Whenever a death or any adverse event occurs after vaccination, the case should be reported to VAERS. This process allows the CDC and FDA to monitor adverse events that could be related to vaccination. As it is the standard protocol for any deaths reported in VAERS, it will be fully reviewed. The VAERS report will help inform a more thorough investigation that can conclusively identify the individual’s specific cause of death.
Our thoughts and condolences go out to the person’s family. “
Evans’ family suspects that the vaccine caused his death due to a rare serious allergic reaction. More than 100 million vaccines have been administered in the US and more than a million in Kansas. The vast majority report only mild side effects, but early on, the CDC warned of allergic reactions in some people.
“This severe immune reaction to the COVID vaccine has been described, it was described in clinical trials. It is known to occur, although it is a very rare entity, it is less than one in a million. You don’t know if you’re one of those people, ”said Dr. Tom Moore, Wesley Healthcare infectious disease physician.
Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that can lead to sudden cardiovascular collapse and, in some cases, death.
“Most of the people who developed this rare problem with the vaccine already had a history of a strong immune reaction to a variety of things, specifically anaphylaxis and major food allergies, that kind of thing. The vast majority of people who have food allergies and who have seasonal allergies and allergies to certain medications can still get the vaccine and not have any problems, ”said Dr. Moore.
Vaccine trials show that reaction is a possibility with the COVID-19 vaccine, but experts say it is extremely rare and still encourage you to get vaccinated. So far, 133 million Americans have received the vaccine, according to a report last month, 62 reports of confirmed anaphylaxis have been confirmed, 46 after the Pfizer vaccine and 16 after the Moderna vaccine. However, neither leads to death.
“You have a better chance of being struck by lightning,” Dr. Moore said.
Moore said vaccine clinics should also have supplies available to treat adverse reactions. For example, we know that the Sedgwick County Vaccine Clinic has epi-pens and other supplies available for this exact reason.
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