Probe ordered after elderly man with hypertension dies after vaccine shot
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—An investigation has been ordered into the death of an elderly man after he got his first shot of the coronavirus vaccine AstraZeneca here on Wednesday (May 12).
Mayor Oscar Moreno said the 72-year-old man, Zoilo Joaquin Borcillo, may have failed to declare he had comorbidity before taking the vaccine, citing unconfirmed information.
Dr. William Bernardo, head of the Cagayan de Oro Vaccination Operation Center, said Borcillo, of Agusan village, died at the JR Borja General Hospital where he was rushed after having difficulty breathing following his vaccine shot.
Bernardo said Borcillo complained he cannot breathe nine minutes after he was injected with the vaccine.
Witnesses said medical workers and nurses applied CPR on Borcillo before an ambulance took him to the hospital where he died.
Moreno said there should be an immediate investigation.
“The doctors say Borcillo might have had an open heart surgery. This has to be investigated,” Moreno said.
Bernardo said Borcillo, who was accompanied by his son, was physically fit when he arrived for vaccination at the venue, a shopping mall.
“Borcillo was ambulatory,” Bernardo said. He said although Barcillo had a slightly elevated blood pressure of 150 over 80 “doctors saw no problem with him.”
Bernardo said Borcillo revealed he has hypertension only after a doctor asked if he has comorbidity, or a disease that could make COVID-19 deadlier.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier temporarily halted the use of AstraZeneca on people below 60 years after reports surfaced of rare blood clots in people with low platelets.
Last month, the DOH and Food and Drug Administration lifted the ban and resumed the use of the vaccine on people regardless of age.
“The benefit outweighs the risk. Only a small percentage of the population had these adverse effects for AstraZeneca,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire had told a regular news conference in Manila.
Moreno also ordered the continuation of the vaccination program being held at three sites in the city.