CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 12 May) – A 72-year-old elderly male died minutes after he received his first jab of AstraZeneca vaccine in a downtown shopping mall in this city on Wednesday.
Dr. William Bernardo, head of the Cagayan de Oro Vaccination Operation Center, said that Zoilo Joaquin Borcillo, a resident of Barangay Agusan here, died at the JR Borja General Hospital (JRBGH) where medical personnel brought him.
Bernardo said Borcillo complained of difficulty in breathing minutes after he was vaccinated around noon.
Witnesses said medical personnel and nurses tried to resuscitate Borcillo by applying cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
An ambulance later brought him to the JRBGH where efforts by doctors to revive him failed, Bernardo said.
Mayor Oscar Moreno immediately ordered an investigation on the incident.
He said there are speculations that Borcillo did not declare fully his comorbidities to the attending doctors before he was vaccinated.
“The doctors said Borcillo might have had an open heart surgery. This has to be investigated,” the mayor said.
Bernardo said Borcillo, who was accompanied by his son, was physically fit when he arrived for vaccination at the shopping mall.
“Borcillo was ambulatory and although he had a slight blood pressure of 150/80, doctors saw no problem with him,” he added.
He said Borcillo only mentioned his problem of hypertension when an attending physician asked him about his comorbidities.
The Department of Health (DOH) had earlier temporarily halted the use of AstraZeneca on people below 60 years after reports surfaced of rare blood clots with people with low platelets.
Last month, the DOH and the Food and Drug Administration lifted the ban and resumed the use of the vaccine on people regardless of age.
“The benefit outweighs the risk,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a regular news conference in Manila. She noted that only a very small percentage of the population had adverse effects with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Moreno also ordered the continuation of the vaccination program being held at SM CDO Downtown Premiere, Robinsons Cagayan de Oro and at JRBGH. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)