The death of a Nebraska resident last month shortly after getting the COVID vaccine is under investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and has also been reported to the Food and Drug Administration.
Nebraska Health and Human Services says the vaccine was listed as one of the causes of death for the patient, who died over a week after receiving the first dose.
They say the man in his forties had health conditions and lived in a long-term care facility.
On Friday, Governor Pete Ricketts shared a few more details on the CDC’s investigation into how the vaccine may have contributed to the January death of the man. Typically, he said, a vaccination death is caused by a severe allergic reaction, which is why those receiving the vaccine are usually asked to wait around for about 15 minutes after receiving it — but that was likely not the cause in this instance. “In this case, the person passed away one or two weeks after they have received the first dose of the vaccine, so it was not an anaphylactic reaction. It’s not clear that this person died because of the vaccine. It was listed as one of the causes on the death certificate but that’s why we do the investigation.”
Dr. Gary Anthone, Nebraska's Chief Medical Officer, says these kinds of deaths are more likely due to underlying factors other than the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccines “have had a very safe profile,” he said.
The Pfizer vaccine has had 5 anaphylactic reactions reported per million vaccination doses and the Moderna vaccine has had 3 anaphylactic reactions reported per million doses. Anthone says that’s on par with flu vaccinations as well as measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination shots.
Some information about the man's death won’t be able to be shared in order to protect the privacy of that person, but officials will try to provide as many details as they can as the investigation progresses, the governor said.