DOH: Deaths of 3 Central Visayas frontliners not caused by COVID vaccine

CEBU CITY – The deaths of three frontliners in Central Visayas were not caused by the vaccines that they received, the Department of Health-Central Visayas (DOH Region 7) clarified.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson and chief pathologist of DOH Region 7, said there was no direct link between the deaths of three healthcare workers from Region 7 and the COVID-19 vaccines that had been administered to them.

The DOH Region 7 has received reports that three healthcare workers in Central Visayas experienced serious adverse effects after receiving their respective doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

The three healthcare workers later died but due to other causes, Loreche said. “We don’t have a casualty due to vaccination,” said Loreche.

The fatalities included a hospital worker from Talisay City who received Sinovac. “The cause of death was ruled as respiratory distress,” said Loreche.

“This first case in Talisay City, we also learned that he was asthmatic but he was left untreated. No consultation, no treatment and no follow-up, was made,” Loreche added.

The second fatality was from Cebu City who died due to sudden cardiac arrest a few days after receiving his dose of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine.

“We cannot link this to the vaccination primarily because – even if this happened two to three days post-vaccination – if you’re going to see it for yourself, there’s no clear linkage to the vaccine as a cause of death,” Loreche said.

The third fatality was a frontliner in Bohol who died due to heart attack.

“He completed his doses of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines prior to his death,” said Loreche. “He complained of chest pains and he had erratic blood pressure. But he didn’t have himself checked in a hospital. He was vaccinated and drank after his second dose. He started feeling ill and his blood pressure shot up.”

Loreche said all reports of adverse events after vaccination underwent thorough review by a group of specialists and professionals from the government.

“There are only two ways of linking deaths post-vaccination. One is to conduct autopsy, and the other is to study circumstantial evidence based on history and what transpired before, during and after vaccination, and upon death,” Loreche said.