Coroner quashes claims Covid vaccine linked to schoolgirl's death

Author
Anna Leask, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 15 Sep 2021, 9:55AM
Chief Coroner Deborah Marshall says the death of an Auckland teenager is not linked to the Covid vaccine.
Chief Coroner Deborah Marshall says the death of an Auckland teenager is not linked to the Covid vaccine.

Coroner quashes claims Covid vaccine linked to schoolgirl's death

Author
Anna Leask, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 15 Sep 2021, 9:55AM

The country's' top coroner has this morning reiterated that the death of an Auckland teenager is not related to the Covid-19 vaccine. 

The teenager died on Friday. 

Rumours have spread online that the Year 13 student's death was linked to the Pfizer vaccine. 

Chief coroner Judge Deborah Marshall said this morning that this was not the case. 

"I am aware of ongoing speculation about the cause of death in a case involving an Auckland teenager that was recently referred to the Coroners' Court," she said. 

"Based on the information available to date, it does not appear that the death in question is linked to the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine." 

Marshall said the "issue" would still be "investigated carefully" by the coroner and "pertinent information will be requested from various agencies, including the Covid-19 Vaccination Independent Safety Monitoring Board". 

"It could be a number of months before the final post-mortem report is received and all information relating to this death is obtained from relevant agencies. 

"The coroner's findings will be made available once the inquiry has been completed." 

Marshall said only one vaccine-related case was before her. 

"The Coroners Court continues to work alongside the Ministry of Health to help identify any cases that may be linked with Covid-19 vaccinations, to date only one case has been associated with vaccination," she explained. 

"This case is still active with a coroner and the causes and circumstances of this death have yet to be determined." 

It is thought that woman died after suffering from myocarditis and pericarditis. 

Myocarditis is a rare side effect of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. 

The Ministry of Health said the board noted other medical issues were occurring at the same time, which may have influenced the outcome after vaccination. 

After the teenager died on Friday, speculation about what happened spread wildly across social media. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was forced to address the false information being propagated online. 

At her daily press conference on Sunday she there have been no reports in New Zealand of deaths related to teenagers getting vaccinated against Covid-19. 

Ardern said she had been advised there was no link between the death of the schoolgirl and the vaccination. 

"All I would say is, those who seek to make those links, I just can't imagine how distressing that would be for family members," she said. 

Any information about adverse events would have been shared proactively, she said. 

She advised people to be wary of believing information that came from people who were trying to undermine vaccination efforts. 

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield added that if there was "any possibility" of such a link, a health professional would have reported it. No such report had been made. 

Ardern called for people to continue getting vaccinated, saying it was the best way to protect people from the deadly virus.