An elderly man collapsed and died in New York City on Sunday morning shortly after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, officials revealed Monday.
The man, who was in his 70s, fell as he left Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Convention Center just 25 minutes after receiving his shot, New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said in a statement.
On-site security and first responders raced to his side within seconds, but the man, who has not yet been named, was pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly afterward.
It’s currently unclear if the man’s death is linked to the vaccine, with an investigation now underway.
Adverse reactions to the vaccine are considered extremely rare, with those few cases most commonly linked to an allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.
‘Initial indications are that the man did not have any allergic reaction to the vaccine,’ Zucker, however, said in his statement.
The man’s sudden collapsing followed a mandatory 15-minute observation period, in which he ‘exhibited no adverse reactions or any distress,’ Zucker said.
The FDNY said the patient was taken to the hospital by Senior Care just before 11am Sunday, where he died shortly after arriving.
The identity of the man has not yet been revealed by officials. It’s also unclear which type of COVID-19 vaccine he received.
The Javits Center and Zucker’s office have not yet returned a DailyMail.com request for comment on the matter.
In his statement, Zucker stressed that he and other public health experts believe the vaccine ‘is safe, and together with continued vigilance including wearing a mask and social distancing, it will bring an end to this pandemic.’
‘I encourage all eligible New Yorkers to get vaccinated,’ Zucker continued.
The Javits Center opened as a mass-vaccination site in January, and is one of several in the New York City area. It was originally used as a field hospital after the coronavirus pandemic first struck last spring.
Nearly one million people in New York City have so far been vaccinated, with 1.5 million residents having received their first doses statewide.
Across the US, the daily number of people getting vaccinated now well surpasses the numbers infected, with the country averaging 1.3 million shots per-day.
Nearly 42 million doses have so far been administered in total.
At least one dose of a vaccine has been administered to 31,579,100 million people, which equals to 9.6 percent of the population.
Just over 9,147,000 Americans have now received both doses of a vaccine, amounting to 2.78 percent of the population.
Adverse reactions to the vaccine are considered extremely rare, with those few cases most commonly linked to allergic reactions.
Since the vaccine rollout began in December, however, there have been a handful of so-far unexplained deaths involving those who recently received a COVID shot.
Over the weekend, Virginia minister Drene Keyes, 58, died less than a day after receiving a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Warsaw on Friday and falling ill.
Officials said they did not know her cause of death, of any underlying conditions Keyes might have had that could have contributed to it, and said there’s no evidence to suggest her passing was tied to the vaccination.
Similarly to Sunday’s incident in New York City, Keyes remained at the clinic for 15 minutes after the shot, as recommended, before returning to the clinic later that day.
She was rushed to VCU Health Tappahannock Hospital, where she died Saturday.
‘Preliminary findings indicate that the cause of death was not anaphylaxis, but it will take several weeks for additional information to become available,’ Warsaw police Chief Joan Kent said.
‘We can confirm that the death occurred within hours of having received the vaccine, but that is not evidence of it being related. We are currently investigating and do not yet know the cause of death.’
Kent continued: ‘Our thoughts are with the family during this heartbreaking time,’ the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. ‘CDC continues to closely monitor the safety of all vaccines, and we are actively working with Virginia officials to fully investigate the situation.’
Similarly, in California last month, Tim Zook, a 60-year-old X-ray technologist at South Coast Global Medical Center in Santa Ana, died on January 7 two days after receiving his second dose of the Pfizer shot.
He had written on Facebook the day of his vaccination that he had ‘never been so excited to get a shot before’ and celebrating being ‘fully vaccinated.’
However, within hours the father-of-three reportedly suffered an apparent adverse reaction, telling co-workers he had sharp pains in his stomach and was having difficulties breathing.
After his symptoms worsened, his coworkers walked him over to the emergency room where he was placed on a ventilator four hours after arriving.
The Orange County coroner said Zook’s cause of death is currently inconclusive and further toxicology testing will take months to complete. If there is a correlation to the vaccine, the office said it will notify the OC Health Care Agency.
In a statement to DailyMail.com at the time, a Pfizer spokesperson said the company is aware of Zook’s death and is also investigating the matter.
Pfizer said: ‘Our immediate thoughts are with the bereaved family. We closely monitor all such events and collect relevant information to share with global regulatory authorities.
‘Based on ongoing safety reviews performed by Pfizer, BioNTech and health authorities, BNT162b2 retains a positive benefit-risk profile for the prevention of COVID-19 infections. Serious adverse events, including deaths that are unrelated to the vaccine, are unfortunately likely to occur at a similar rate as they would in the general population.’
Zook’s wife, Rochelle Zook, told the Register her family was not ‘blaming any pharmaceutical company.’
‘My husband loved what he did,’ she said. ‘He worked in hospitals for 36 1/2 years. He believed in vaccines. I’m sure he would take that vaccine again, and he’d want the public to take it.
‘But when someone gets symptoms 2 1/2 hours after a vaccine, that’s a reaction. What else could have happened? We would like the public to know what happened to Tim, so he didn’t die in vain. Severe reactions are rare. In reality, COVID is a much more deadly force than reactions from the potential vaccine itself.
‘The message is, be safe, take the vaccine — but the officials need to do more research. We need to know the cause. The vaccines need to be as safe as possible. Every life matters.’
For the first time in three months on Sunday, the US reported fewer than 100,000 new daily COVID-19 cases, with hospitalizations also falling as the vaccine roll out gathers momentum.
Just over 96,000 new cases and 1,474 deaths were reported nationwide on Sunday, according to a tally by the COVID Tracking Project.
Those latest numbers brought US totals to over 26.99 million cases and 463,339 deaths to date.
Hospitalizations also dropped with 81,439 patients admitted as of Sunday – the fourth consecutive day with under 90,000 after two months above that threshold.