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Medical Examiner: No certified COVID-19 vaccine-related deaths in Utah

Posted at 9:38 PM, Mar 10, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — The family of a woman who died after receiving her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine believes there might be a connection to the vaccine itself.

“So, she got the first one and there was a little pain and there was no big deal so three weeks later, she scheduled for the second one,” said Al Hawley regarding the passing of his step-daughter Kassidi Kurill. “She takes the shot on Monday the 1st of February, that evening she felt some local area pain on the injection side.”

Read: Utah sees high vaccination rate for seniors

Al says that Kassidi started to run a fever and wanted to go the emergency room. He says after a blood test at an Ogden area hospital determined she needed a liver transplant, she was flown to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.

According to Al, Kassidi couldn’t be stabilized in order to undergo the procedure. She died at the hospital less than a week after her second vaccine shot.

“She was healthy, happy, active, until she took the shot, she went shopping with her mom, that afternoon when she took the shot,” said Al. “I believe that she was one of those bad reactions.”

Read: Utah sees decrease in COVID-19 death backlog, increase in overall non-virus deaths this year

The Food and Drug Administration requires vaccination providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Report System (VAERS). There are four deaths reported on the VAERS database that involved Utah residents. Based on age description, it’s believed that Kassidi is on the list.

“It is a system that is set up for reporting of adverse events related to the vaccine and not just the COVID vaccine but any vaccine,” said Dr. Erik Christensen, Chief Medical Examiner for the Utah Department of Health. “It’s not something we interface with in our office, I don’t go in there and look for cases, we don’t use that as a tool for what gets reported or not reported.”

Dr. Christensen says vaccine-related deaths aren’t typically reported to the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner, however since death certificates include ‘COVID-19’ on them, they’ve seen a few pertaining to vaccines.

Read: Governor plans to open up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adult Utah residents April 1

“We have had probably at least that number of deaths reported to us and I do know that one of the deaths reported to us, was in VAERS, is one of those four deaths and we are still investigating that we have not come to a conclusion about that specific case,” said Dr. Christensen. “The other deaths that have been reported to us that we have looked at thus far we have not found a connection between the vaccine and the death.”

Dr. Christensen says no COVID-19 vaccine-related deaths have been certified by the Office of the Medical Examiner.

“Over 92 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through March 8, 2021,” said the CDC on its website. “During this time, VAERS received 1,637 reports of death (0.0018%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. CDC and FDA physicians review each case report of death as soon as notified and CDC requests medical records to further assess reports. A review of available clinical information including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records revealed no evidence that vaccination contributed to patient deaths. CDC and FDA will continue to investigate reports of adverse events, including deaths, reported to VAERS.”