A patient who received the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Covid-19 vaccine has died after developing Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) caused by the vaccine.
South Africa’s health regulator reported its first rare Covid-19 vaccine death for the first time on Thursday. The patient presented rare neurological disorder Guillain-Barre Syndrome soon after being given the (J&J) vaccine, after which the person was put on a ventilator and later died, senior scientists told a news conference.
Sahpra CEO Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela said: “It is with sad hearts today that we confirm that Sahpra has been informed of a fatal case of a syndrome called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). This was a case noted following vaccination with the Covid-19 Janssen vaccine.
“The casualty assessment was conducted… and there is a conclusion that this case of GBS was associated with the individual who had received the Covid-19 Janssen vaccine.”
To protect patient confidentiality, and because the disease is very rare, Professor Hannelie Meyer from the National Immunisation Safety Committee said the patients’ details will not be shared, not even the province where the death occurred will be shared publicly.
Semete-Makokotlela said this was the first death they had and they determined it was linked to the vaccine.
The health department and Sahpra encouraged people to continue taking the vaccine, saying that the risk of death was small.
Last July, U.S. authorities added a warning to the factsheet for J&J’s vaccine saying data suggested there was an increased risk of GBS in the six weeks after vaccination. At the time it noted 100 preliminary reports of GBS in vaccine recipients, including 95 serious cases and one reported death.
Source: News24, Daily Maverick, Bloomberg, Reuters, Moneyweb, image from Reuters