The New Zealand health ministry announced Monday that a woman died after taking Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, according to Reuters.
“This is the first case in New Zealand where a death in the days following vaccination has been linked to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine,” the ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters. (RELATED: Another COVID-19 Variant Resistant To Vaccines ‘Likely’ To Emerge, Predicts Pfizer CEO)
JUST IN: New Zealand reports its first death believed to be linked to Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine https://t.co/RdsX2Ykn1c
— Bloomberg Markets (@markets) August 30, 2021
The woman died from a rare side effect of the Pfizer vaccine called myocarditis, according to Reuters. Myocarditis occurs when the heart muscle inflames, limits the heart’s ability pump blood, then changes the heartbeat rhythm. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention records confirm 778 reports of myocarditis or pericarditis following hundreds of millions of vaccines administered. Pericarditis is the inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the heart.
Pfizer told Reuters take takes “adverse events that are potentially associated with our vaccine very seriously.”
“We closely monitor all such events and collect relevant information to share with worldwide regulatory authorities,” Pfizer told Reuters.
New Zealand’s health ministry affirmed the vaccine’s benefits outweigh any side effects, including myocarditis.
“The benefits of vaccination with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine continue to greatly outweigh the risk of both COVID-19 infection and vaccine side-effects, including myocarditis,” the health ministry said.
Reuters reported that mRNA vaccines, including Pfizer’s, can be linked to heart inflammation, but echoed the health ministry’s affirmation of the vaccine’s benefits and overall safety.
New Zealand’s health ministry said they have received enough of the Pfizer vaccine for everyone in the country over the age of 12, yet receiving the vaccine is not mandatory.