Monday 2 October 2023

71-year-old Costa Rica woman died an hour after receiving anticovid vaccine

Son asks health authorities to extend monitoring to more than 10 minutes in patients at risk

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QCOSTARICA – Doña Ana María Rodríguez, 71, died on Wednesday (March 10), an hour after being vaccinated against covid-19 in Coronado.

Ana María Rodriguez with her son Luis Carlos Ramírez. Photo: La Teja

It is impossible to attribute the death to the vaccine, especially because she was hypertensive, diabetic, one kidney, suffered from Alzheimer’s and had been in a wheelchair due to a spinal problem for the last 12 years.

Although she had chronic diseases, they were all controlled and her relatives were waiting on her time to get vaccinated, which was applied at the Coronado clinic where she had been a regular patient.

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She and her husband, José Joaquín Ramírez, 72, traveled by taxi to the clinic. Both would be vaccinated on the same day.

An hour later, according to the death certificate, she died of an acute heart attack. The time of death was 5 pm … she was already back at home.

The couple’s son, Luis Carlos Ramírez, explained what happened.

“I am aware that my mother had several ailments, and as a dentist, my biggest hope was the vaccine, to have it applied to them,” he said.

On Wednesday, he says: “At 3:40 pm my dad called me and he told me that they were already at the clinic waiting to be vaccinated. I reminded him to make sure they got her evaluation done before applying it and he told me that he told them about all Mommy’s ailments and even he gave them her card of the things she was allergic to, she was up to date with all her shots.”

Doña Ana María was buried Thursday at noon in Coronado. Photo Alonso Tenorio

When it was time for the vaccination, a nurse asked why Doña Ana looked “sleepy”, her husband explained that some days she woke up down. He added that, if they felt like it, they could check her blood pressure and sugar just in case.

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According to the son, the nurse’s response was that it was not part of her job.

Don José took out a glucometer and a blood pressure device and measured it himself, everything was normal.

“They were given the vaccine and left for the minutes (15) that the protocol dictates. After that time they were asked how they felt, both answered that they were fine and told them that they could go.

“They got back into the taxi and when they were going by Caribeños (bus stop in San José) my father called me again and said that they were almost homeand that Mommy was telling him that she was starving. So far so good,” describes the son.

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At home, Doña Ana María told her husband that she was not feeling well.

Don José calls his son and tells him, who asked to speak to his mother, but by now she could no longer speak.

The father described to Luis Carlos that she was turning red, that he was going to take her blood pressure and sugar again and they came good, but he explains to his son that his mother seems to be falling asleep.

“At that moment I left my house in Escazú, I called 911 and on the other line I kept in touch with my father, he only told me that he saw her strange and that I should hurry. The ambulance arrived about three minutes before I arrived and when I entered the room they were trying to resuscitate her,” he recalled.

Doña Ana looked purple, the paramedic told Luis Carlos to look at the monitor, that what it showed coincided with a heart attack and confirmed that his mother had died.

The paramedics made their report and a few minutes later the Organismo de Investigacion (OIJ) contacted Luis Carlos to inform him that they would open an investigation. The Judicial Police asked to send the medical report as soon as possible.

“I was asked what we would do with the body and he told me he hoped it would be normal burial (not cremation). What did he mean by that? What was he thinking of exhuming his body?” the dentist commented.

The pathologist also made a comment that is still spinning in his head: “How strange, why had she accumulated so much fluid so fast?”

Luis Carlos also wonders: “seeing a case like my mother’s, how much trouble does he (the doctor) take to say ‘well, before we vaccinate her, we are going to do other tests like an electrocardiogram minutes before, as a prevention’?”

La Teja says it contacted the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), which confirmed that Doña Ana was vaccinated on Wednesday, March 10 at 4 pm.

“All vaccinated patients are under observation for 15 minutes and we have a doctor in the vaccination center in order to attend to any reaction that can occur in that period,” explained Dr. Zeirith Rojas Cerna, director of the Coronado Health Area.

The CCSS Director of Communication, Ilse Chanto, told La Teja by email that all ESAVI (event supposedly attributable to vaccination or immunization) that all the information in the case must be carefully analyzed to differentiate very well problems that could have been caused by the vaccine from those that would have occurred even if the patient had not received the vaccine.

“Two post-vaccination deaths have been reported, in neither case has a relationship with the administration of the vaccine been determined, however, investigations continue,” the email adds.

The email made reference to the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Products of Health Interest in the sense that when many people are vaccinated (and especially groups at risk of suffering from certain diseases) in a short period of time, it could be observed a high number of negative events without this meaning that they are due to the vaccine.

According to the CCSS, of the total number of people vaccinated against covid-19 in Costa Rica, 0.67% (7 of 1608) have presented some type of ESAVI, most of them in women (73%) and within the age range between 30 and 39 years (42 %).

In addition to pain in the arm or a headache, three Events of Special Interest (AESI) were reported: an inflammation of the heart, an inflammation of the veins, and a case of Guillain Barré syndrome.

Article translated and adapted from the La Teja: Señora de 71 años murió una hora después de recibir vacuna anticovid. Read the original (in Spanish) here.

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