TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic command center on Monday (June 21) announced that it is investigating reports of 58 deaths after elderly individuals were inoculated with a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine over the past three days, though still no deaths have been directly attributed to coronavirus vaccines in Taiwan.
Taiwan on June 15 began to administer AstraZeneca vaccines donated by Japan on a large scale, particularly for people over the age of 75. However, in the first four days, there were more than two dozen cases of elderly vaccine recipients suddenly dying after receiving their first dose of the vaccine.
The trend in deaths following vaccinations appeared to continue over the weekend. During a press conference on Monday (June 21), CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) announced that 58 people died after receiving a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine between Friday and Sunday (June 18 and June 20).
Chuang pledged that a summary report on autopsies carried out in such cases will be provided every Tuesday and Thursday. As to whether any deaths are caused by vaccines, Chuang said that forensic reports and health insurance data will be needed to study the causes.
Chuang said that as of Friday, the number of deaths that occurred after the AstraZeneca vaccinations were not observed to be any higher than the natural mortality rate. CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) last week stated that data shows the natural mortality rate in Taiwan for those over the age of 75 is 200 per day.
On Monday, 17 more people reportedly died following vaccinations, including 16 over the age of 75 and one over the age of 65. Two of these persons lived in institutions, while the others had a history of chronic diseases.
Thus far, there have been no deaths directly attributed to any COVID-19 vaccine in Taiwan.