A Man and Woman in South Dakota Die a Day After Getting COVID-19 Vaccines


South Dakota’s state epidemiologist has confirmed that two people died in the state within 24 hours of getting their first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. State epidemiologist Joshua Clayton, MD, MPH reported that one of the deceased was a middle-aged man in his 50s from Pennington County and the other was an elderly woman in her 90s from Hutchinson County.1 2 3

Health officials in South Dakota are reportedly investigating the two cases and are “continuing to monitor for any other potential adverse reactions as vaccine rollout continues” but have said that, so far, there is no evidence the vaccine caused the deaths.1 3 

“We have received two reports thus far of deaths that occurred after COVID-19 vaccination. Neither have been reported to be caused by the vaccine administration,” said Daniel Bucheli, communications director for the South Dakota Department of Health.2

One of the deceased had previously tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the other had previously been diagnosed with COVID-19 but had recovered before getting vaccinated. “The two individuals are not listed as coronavirus deaths,” Dr. Clayton said.1 3

Both deaths following COVID-19 vaccinations have been reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “VAERS accepts reports of adverse events that may be associated with U.S. licensed vaccines from health care providers, manufacturers, and the public.”2 4

VAERS, which is jointly operated by the FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was created by Congress under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 in response to growing public concern about the safety of whole cell pertussis vaccine in DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus) and other childhood vaccines. 5

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