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Heart attack likely killed patient who had Sinovac jab, experts say

03 March 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap

The experts panel said there was no link between the Covid-19 jab and the man's death

A panel of experts says a 63-year-old man who died two days after taking the Sinovac vaccine likely had a fatal heart attack.

A co-convenor of the Expert Committee on Clinical Events Assessment of Covid-19 said they were unanimous in their view that the patient’s death on Sunday was not linked to his vaccination.

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“The expert panel takes a unanimous view that there is no direct link between the vaccination and the patient’s death,” Professor Ivan Hung told a press conference today, Mar. 3.

The panel held an emergency meeting earlier to assess the case, which emerged only on Tuesday night.

“The most likely cause of death is the patient’s coronary disease, leading to a heart attack and pulmonary edema, resulting in a deterioration of his breathing and then, death.”

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Hung said the experts reached this conclusion after going through the patient’s available records, including preliminary results of a post-mortem examination.

He noted that the deceased suffered from multiple and long-term illnesses, including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and suspected heart disease. He was also a heavy smoker.


The post mortem reportedly showed the deceased had severe blockages in three coronary arteries, but a more detailed report will not be available for another week or two.

Hung said the patient had multiple long-term illnesses such as diabetes and suspected heart disease  

Hung said the vaccination program will continue, and urged all elderly people and others in high-risk groups to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

But he said those with underlying illnesses should first consult their doctors.


His call came as online bookings for coronavirus jabs from Pfizer/BioNTech opened a few minutes after the indicated time of 9am, due to a slight glitch.

Most of those who managed to secure bookings over the next two weeks reported an easy time, with some saying it took only between 5 to 10 minutes to get a slot.

The initial booking phase will run until Mar 28, but should quickly resume, as the second batch of about half a million doses of the US-German vaccine is expected to arrive in the next several days. A million doses of Sinovac arrived earlier.

Seven centers across Hong Kong – in Sai Ying Pun, Sai Wan Ho, Kowloon Tong, Kwun Tong, Lai Chi Kok, Yuen Long and Sheung Shui – will provide the BioNTech vaccine, which has a high efficacy rating of 95%.

Currently, only those in the priority groups, including residents aged 60 and above, frontline and health care workers, residents and staff in care homes, and cross-border transport workers and personnel, can book for the jabs.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Health Protection reported 14 new coronavirus cases, all of them locally acquired.

Eight are of unknown sources. They include a 23-year-old woman working in marketing, a 53-year-old dishwasher, a 34-year-old man who manages elderly care homes, a  53-year-old secretary, a salesperson, two housewives and a retiree.

The cases brought Hong Kong’s total pandemic toll to 11,046.

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