Six Sudden Deaths in Five Days After the Vaccination of Domestic Vaccine Medigen

Comprehensive Report by Taiwan Weekly


Taiwan’s Medigen COVID-19 vaccine inoculation started on August 23, and President Tsai Ing-wen led to receive the first jab in Taiwan. But six people died after vaccination in the first five days of the inoculation. According to the statistics assembled by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), the vaccination rate of Medigen coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine of the week was declining day by day. It determined that Medigen adverse events, and the scheduled arrival of BNT vaccine at the end of the month affect the willingness of people to get Medigen vaccination.


President Tsai Ing-wen has been an advocate for Medigen. She arrived at the National Taiwan University College of Medicine gymnasium at 7:30 AM on August 23. They have broadcast the vaccination live. President Tsai even reminded the nurse to hold the vial of Medigen vaccine for the media to "take a picture." After the inoculation, President Tsai received the "vaccine yellow card" and made a "like" gesture for the media, took a picture and left shortly.


Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang of the CECC confirmed at a press conference on August 28 that during the five days since the Medigen vaccination, there have been six notifications of deaths after vaccination. In the order of occurrence: a 55-year-old writer surnamed Lu in Taoyuan, a 40-year-old male also in Taoyuan, a woman in her 40s in Keelung. a man in his 30s in Luzhou District, New Taipei, a man in his 40s in New Taipei, and a woman in her 40s in Xinzhuang District, New Taipei.


The columnist Lu has completed the autopsy and revealed he died of aortic dissection combined with cardiac tamponade; the Keelung woman also had aortic dissection, the Taoyuan man had a history of diabetes, the Luzhou man had a record of drug abuse, the New Taipei man had pancreatic cancer, and the sixth deceased originally had multiple chronic diseases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, who heads the CECC, said earlier on August 25 that the Medigen vaccine received by the four deceased were from three different batches. Whether the cause of death was related to the Medigen vaccine still needs to be further clarified.


As the Medigen vaccine is the world's first COVID-19 vaccine that has not completed the third phase of clinical trials to gain emergency use authorization (EUA) via "immune-bridging", it has aroused heated debates on its efficacy and safety. Now, the death cases reported in the first few days cause the public to worry and hesitant.


According to the statistics of the CECC, the appointment attendance rate of the Medigen vaccination on the first day on August 23 was 92.8 percent, and the number of vaccinations was 179,000. However, the appointment attendance rate on August 24 dropped to 88.4 percent, with 112,000 vaccinations. On the 25th, the number fell sharply to 59,000, or rate of 87.1 percent. On August 26, it dropped further to 82.6 percent. Many booked for Medigen vaccination failed to keep their appointments.


Minister Chen stated frankly in the epidemic press conference on August 28 that the Medigen vaccination rate did decrease day by day, but he did not see a slowdown trend.


Chairman Johnny Chiang of the Kuomintang (KMT) and others demanded the government to suspend the Medigen vaccine, called on the government to clarify before vaccination what conditions cannot administer the jab, and do not simply attribute the cause of the sudden death to chronic diseases of the deceased.


Chairman Jaw Shaw-kong of the Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC) previously suggested that President Tsai should take an antibody test before having the Medigen injection, to show that she "has not received" other COVID-19 vaccines. He further stated that President Tsai has the responsibility and obligation to make public the antibody test to confirm the efficacy of the Medigen vaccine 14 days after the injection. By so doing will boost the confidence of the public. If it shows negative, the Medigen vaccination should be aborted. Lest it turn into breaches of epidemic prevention.


Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said at the epidemic prevention press conference on August 25 that the Medigen vaccination drive was equivalent to doing large-scale third-phase human experiments for Medigen vaccine, and there should be a certain percentage of participants to have antibody tests.


The latest poll released by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF) on August 24 showed that 97 percent of the first-time voters under the age of 20 to 24 supported President Tsai Ing-wen when she took office in May last year, and now, the support almost cut in half to 47 percent, which made TPOF chairman You Ying-lung blurted out that "totally cannot be mentioned in the same breath." The survey was conducted from August 16 to 18, interviewed adults over 20 years of age, and there were 1,078 valid samples.


Perhaps to save the declining reputation, and considering primary and secondary schools are about to start, students need vaccination as soon as possible. The government suddenly changed its position and agreed to import 1.95 million doses of BioNTech vaccine at the end of the month, regardless of the "Fubitai" Chinese characters on its label. The appointment of inoculation started on the afternoon of the 28th and the large numbers of applicants immediately overloaded the appointment platform. A total of 1.97 million people registered to get BioNTech shots, including those who originally signed up for Medigen vaccine.



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