A 52-year-old Ranchi man, who was vaccinated against the coronavirus on Monday afternoon, died on way to hospital 33 hours later on Tuesday night after complaining of discomfort in his chest, officials of the hospital where he worked said on Wednesday.
Mednata Hospital where the deceased, Mannu Pahan (52), was working, had initially said Mannu did not have any of prior ailments. But by evening, the state health department issued a press communique clarifying that Mannu suffered from a tendency of high blood pressure.
Superintendent of Medanta Hospital, Dr Madan Mohan Pandey told the health department that Mannu also complained of difficulty in breathing a day before his death. Mannu returned home after completing his day's work on Tuesday evening, the health department said. He woke up to answer nature's call around 9.30pm and fell unconscious on the ground. His family rushed him to Medanta Hospital, where he was declared dead at 10.10pm.
This is the first fatality following Covid immunisation reported in Jharkhand, officials said.
The Covishield dose administered to Mannu (on Monday, February 1 at 12.55pm) was manufactured on November 1, 2000, and its expiry date was April 29, 2021, health department said. At least 351 people have been administered Covishield shots at Medanta Hospital and all of them were doing fine, the communique added.
“Any connection between Mannu’s death and the Covishield vaccine could not be established. The state AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) committee will investigate the matter and submit a report to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” the health department said in its communique, asking people not to panic nor spread rumours about “side effects” of vaccination.
According to Medanta Hospital, Mannu worked in the hospital’s housekeeping department. He was a resident of Ormanjhi in suburban Ranchi.
As many as 151 health workers were vaccinated at Medanta Hospital along with Mannu on February 1, hospital authorities said. At least nine more health workers were administered shots from the same vial, but none of them reported of any discomfort or weakness since vaccination, authorities added.
Mannu’s body has been sent to state-run Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi for post-mortem, said a hospital spokesperson.
As per data with the National Health Mission (NHM), more than 55,000 people, mostly health and sanitation workers, have been administered Covishield shots in Jharkhand so far. While at least 229 AEFI cases have been reported in the state, doctors maintained that none of these was severe.
Government figures highlight that almost 70 per cent of the AEFI cases reported in Jharkhand occurred in Ranchi district. As per NHM data, as many as of 160 of the 229 people, who suffered from adverse effects following immunisation, were residents of Ranchi.
(An earlier version of the story has been updated with details from a communique issued by the state health department)