The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the death of a Nebraska man who died between one and two weeks after receiving the COVID vaccine.

The man, who was in his 40s, had a number of underlying health conditions and was a resident at a long-term care facility. He had received his first dose of the COVID vaccine the first week of January and died on Jan. 17.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services was made aware that the COVID vaccine was listed as one of several causes of death for the man.

Dr. Gary Anthone, the chief medical officer in Nebraska, said in a statement about the death, “Typically, COVID-19 vaccine deaths can be attributed to anaphylaxis and occur within a relatively short period after the vaccine is given, which is why monitoring is done.

“While I cannot speculate on this case, when individuals die days or weeks after the vaccine has been administered, it is more likely due to other underlying factors. It is really important for individuals that have high-risk conditions to consult their medical provider about the best approach to getting vaccinated.”

Anthone added, “Vaccination is the best line of defense against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Medical experts agree with Anthone, pointing to the safety of the COVID vaccine, which they say has been tested on more people for a longer period of time than typical vaccines.

Dr. Gregory Poland, an immunologist and director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, told Yahoo Life, that if the COVID vaccine were deadly, significant deaths would be apparent immediately.

“If [the COVID-19 vaccine] had even a 1% chance of causing death, we’d have hundreds of thousands of deaths — it would be noticed immediately,” Poland told the news outlet. “We’re just not seeing any difference in background [death] rates and that’s what’s important.”

The CDC has also said the severe adverse reactions to the COVID vaccine are “rare” and have occurred in 10 cases out of over 4 million. To date, the agency has administered over 46.3 million doses of the vaccine to over 34.7 million people.

To monitor deaths and adverse reactions from the COVID vaccine, the CDC has set up the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) – a nationwide vaccine surveillance program that is overseen by the agency and the Food and Drug Administration.

All deaths and adverse reactions to a vaccine must be reported in VAERS, and be reviewed by the CDC and FDA.

This is not the first death that has been reported following inoculation of the COVID vaccine. A man in New York collapsed and died about 25 minutes after being vaccinated. The man’s cause of death was not yet determined.

In another instance, the wife of a Miami doctor claimed the COVID vaccine caused the brain hemorrhage that killed him. Pfizer-BioNTech said early evidence presents no link between the man’s death and the COVID vaccine.

Reports also indicated that a Placer County, California resident died just hours after receiving the COVID vaccine. An investigation was being conducted into the person’s death.

The green light by experts for AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine is an important step towards it receiving an emergency use authorisation by the World Health Organization
Representational image AFP / Nikolay DOYCHINOV