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Two deaths in Belgium “probably” linked to AstraZeneca vaccine

The Federal Medicines’ Agency (FAGG) says that for the first time a probable causal link has been established between the deaths of two people in Belgium with them having been vaccinated against coronavirus. The vaccinologist Isabel Leroux-Roels says that the two deaths are linked to “Extremely rare side-effects”. 

Both people that died had been given the Vaxzevria vaccine that is the new name for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. One of those that died died of capillary leak syndrome a very rare condition with which leakage from blood vessels leads to swelling and a fall in blood pressure. 

The second death was caused by immune thrombocytopenia, a condition in which a low number of blood platelets can cause haemorrhaging. FAGG says that a link between both deaths and the Vaxzevria vaccine is considered “probable”.

Nevertheless, the vaccinologist Isabel Leroux-Roels stresses that "This should not destroy our trust in the vaccines. These are extremely rare side effects. Every vaccine, not just the COVID vaccines, can give side effects. Most symptoms such as headache or fever don’t last any longer than a few days. They disappear on their own. If you have serious headaches that last for more than a few days and painkillers don’t work, it is best to contact your doctor. They can take a blood sample and examine whether there is a shortage of platelets”.

More than 1 million people in Belgium have been given the AstraZeneca vaccine. 


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