An investigation has been launched after a California resident died just hours after receiving a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, authorities revealed Saturday.
According to the New York Post, the individual’s cause of death has not been revealed, but the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said in a brief statement Saturday that they were “administered a COVID-19 vaccine several hours before their death on January 21, 2021.”
“The vaccine was not administered by Placer County Public Health,” the sheriff’s office said. “There are multiple local, state, and federal agencies actively investigating this case.”
Cause of death undetermined
The police also said “reports surrounding the cause of death are premature, pending the outcome of the investigation. Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased,” they concluded.
The New York Post reported that the individual “had tested positive for coronavirus in December.”
While Post didn’t name the individual, a Sacramento-based CBS affiliate reported that a woman from Auburn, California had said it was a 56-year-old man who served as her grandfather’s caretaker.
“Twenty minutes later he realized his legs felt tingly and he was having shortness of breath. He was wheeled out in an ambulance…1 hour later he was in ICU on a ventilator and three hours later he passed away,” she wrote in a Facebook post, according to CBS13.
But like police, experts have cautioned against jumping to conclusions about a cause of death. One source who spoke with CBS13 “said there have not yet been any deaths associated with the vaccine,” but noted that there have been reports of allergic reactions to it.
“We’ve been here for five days”
The news comes as Joe Biden’s administration begins its effort to distribute doses of the COVID-19 vaccine nationwide — and they’re racing against the clock. According to The New York Times, over 25.2 million Americans have been diagnosed with the coronavirus since it first hit the U.S. early last year.
More than 420,000 have died.
Despite the urgency, the White House is struggling to outline exactly what it’s doing to aid in the effort. Pressed by a reporter Monday for “at least a ballpark amount that officials are aware of how much vaccine there is,” Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki demurred.
“We’ve been here for five days to evaluate the supply so that we can release the maximum amount, while also ensuring that everyone can get the second dose on the FDA-recommended schedule,” she said before blaming any “confusion” on the previous administration, according to the New York Post.