A 63-year-old woman died in Laos after being given the AstraZeneca vaccine last week, the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control announced on May 11.
The women, identified as Bounya from Na-khoun village in Vientiane’s Naxaithong district, was vaccinated at the Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre (Lao-ITECC) on May 7.
“She passed all the checks including a temperature test before she was vaccinated and did not feel unwell immediately afterwards,” Dr Bandith Xomphonphakdy, a vaccine expert, said.
Representing the taskforce, Dr Bandith said that the day after being vaccinated, the woman experienced pain in her legs and other parts of her body. She had previously been diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension. Doctors did not have any information about the medication she took to ease the pain.
On May 9, she vomited blood and was admitted to Naxaithong district hospital where she died. Health officials were unable to say whether her death was linked to the vaccine as more investigation is needed.
The same vaccine has been given to thousands of people, most of whom have not experienced any problems. In the meantime, health officials urge everyone to get vaccinated in order to slow the spread of the deadly virus.
On May 11, 35 new Covid-19 cases were announced after 3,247 samples were tested. This brings the total number since March last year to 1,362, of whom 297 have been discharged from hospital. So far, only one person is known to have died from the virus.
One of the greatest concerns is that the Indian variant of coronavirus has been found in neighbouring countries, sparking further alarm in Laos and ramping up the need to keep the virus at bay.
According to a BBC report, the Indian variant mutates regularly. Most of these mutations are irrelevant and some may even make the virus less dangerous, but others can make it more transmissible and harder to kill through vaccination.
As the Indian variant is highly infectious, it’s essential that Laos reinforces border controls to prevent people entering the country illegally.
The number of new infections recorded in Vientiane has stabilised but new cases are increasing in some of the provinces, particularly Bokeo. On May 10, six new cases were recorded in Vientiane, rising to nine on May 11.
Bokeo province reported 15 new cases on May 10 and 20 on May 11. Champasak province recorded one imported case on May 10, but five new cases were recorded on May 11.
Of the total 1,362 cases recorded to date, 739 were reported in Vientiane followed by Bokeo province (304 cases), Champasak province (188 cases) and Savannakhet province (51 cases). Only Attapeu and Huaphan remain virus-free.
VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK