Investigations by Pfizer and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are underway following the death of 56-year-old Dr. Gregory Michael, who received a COVID-19 vaccine last month.
Pfizer has also opened an investigation after twenty-three people died in Norway days of receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Gregory Michael, a doctor from Miami, Florida, who was an obstetrician, died just sixteen days after he had the first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccination, which was approved for use late last year by US authorities.
So far, Pfizer denies that there is evidence of Michael’s death being connected to the vaccine, which was administered on December 18 but continues to investigate alongside a separate investigation by the CDC, which began immediately after his death.
Pfizer believes Michael’s death was the result of a rare condition called severe thrombocytopenia, which prevents the body from stopping internal bleeding or clotting blood.
Jerica Pitts, a spokesperson for the New York pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, said that any negative effects after receiving the vaccine are being monitored but added that millions of people have already been vaccinated without noticing any adverse side effects.
“To date, millions of people have been vaccinated, and we are closely monitoring all adverse events in individuals receiving our vaccine. It is important to note that serious adverse events, including deaths that are unrelated to the vaccine, are unfortunately likely to occur at a similar rate as they would in the general population,” Pfizer spokesperson Jerica Pitts explained in a statement Wednesday.
Kristen Nordlund, speaking on behalf of the CDC, confirmed that the agencies are reviewing the safety of the new vaccines on a regular basis, and the CDC is considering information related to Gregory Michael’s death to assess the situation further.
In a Facebook post, Michael’s wife, Heidi Neckelmann, disagreed with Pfizer and said his death was caused by a “strong reaction” to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
She said her husband had suffered a stroke and spent two weeks in a Miami Beach hospital before he died.
Neckelmann paid tribute to her husband — who was an advocate of the COVID-19 vaccine — speaking of his “beautiful life,” his “perfect family,” and the people in the community who have been affected by his passing. She added that people should be more aware of the possible negative side effects of having the vaccine.
Pfizer is also making headlines after 23 people died in Norway after getting injected with their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Most of the people, who passed away, were nursing home patients over the age of 80. While officials believe that the deaths were related to the side effects of the shots, they are not “expressing serious concern.”
“We are not alarmed by this. It is quite clear that these vaccines have very little risk, with a small exception for the frailest patients. Doctors must now carefully consider who should be vaccinated. Those who are very frail and at the very end of life can be vaccinated after an individual assessment,” stated Steinar Madsen, medical director at the Norwegian Medicines Agency.
A Pfizer rep confirmed that they are “aware of reported deaths” and are collaborating with the Norwegian Medicines Agency “to gather all the relevant information.”