A Vietnamese high school student died on Tuesday, three days after he had received his first shot of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the northern province of Son La.
The Son La health department’s deputy director Nguyen Huu Hung confirmed the incident to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday afternoon.
“The department’s panel of experts is evaluating the cause of the student’s death," Hung said.
"We will inform the press when results are available."
Health authorities in Thuan Chau District, Son La Province inoculated local high school students on Saturday and Sunday last week, using Pfizer-BioNTech doses.
The male student in question arrived at a local vaccination site on Saturday morning and was screened before receiving his first jab on the same day.
Medical workers allowed the boy to go home after finding no abnormalities during 60 minutes of post-vaccination monitoring.
At around 4:00 pm on Monday, the second day after his inoculation, the student began to exhibit symptoms including fatigue, dizziness and nausea, according to his family.
After being admitted to Thuan Chau Hospital on the same day, his condition worsened as he suffered from exhaustion, chest pain, shortness of breath, and spider veins.
Doctors diagnosed him with a heart failure of unknown cause and monitored the student for grade-two post-vaccination allergic reactions.
The boy was transferred to Son La Province General Hospital on Monday evening for continued monitoring and treatment.
He passed away at the hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
Upon receiving news of his death, district officials visited the student’s family and provided them with VND35 million (US$1,500) worth of financial support.
This is Vietnam’s fourth death following COVID-19 vaccination in children reported since last month.
Son La began rolling out COVID-19 vaccination to children aged 12 to 17 in November this year, Hung said.
High school students are getting inoculated first before the campaign moves on to younger ones, the health official added.
Among vaccinated students, some exhibited mild symptoms while severe reactions such as those experienced by the deceased boy have been rare, he said.
Vietnam has plans to vaccinate around nine million children aged 12 to 17 against COVID-19 using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine through a campaign that kicked off in November, according to VnExpress.
By Monday, health workers had administered vaccine shots to nearly 5.3 million children in this age group, including over 4.3 million (47.8 percent) first-dose recipients and more than 936,000 (10.3 percent) who are fully vaccinated, the news site said.
Three students – a 16-year-old in Bac Giang Province, a 14-year-old in Hanoi, and a 12-year-old in Binh Phuoc Province – died in late November after receiving their vaccine jabs.
Their deaths were attributed to “overreaction to the vaccine” and not linked to the quality of the shot or the vaccination process, according to the Ministry of Health.
Around 0.3 percent of the vaccinated children have experienced such reactions as fever, pain at the injection site, muscle soreness, headache, and fatigue, the ministry said.