Authorities investigating death of Miami MD who got virus vaccine
Miami, Jan 7 (efe-epa).- The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the death of obstetrician-gynecologist Gregory Michael, who died about two weeks after receiving one of the vaccines against Covid-19.
The 56-year-old physician on Dec. 18 was vaccinated with the Pfizer anti-Covid drug and died Jan. 3, Darren Caprara, the operations director for the Medical Examiner’s Office, said.
Spokespeople for the forensic office said that his death has not been linked definitively with the vaccine but it is one of the possibilities being investigated.
The manner and cause of Michael’s death “is pending,” Veronica Melton-Lamar, the coordinator of medical records for the Miami-Dade forensic office, confirmed to EFE.
Michael’s wife, Heidi Neckelmann, wrote in a message she posted on Facebook that three days after he received the vaccine her husband broke out in red bruises on his feet and hands and went to the emergency room at Mount Sinai Hospital on Miami Beach, where he had worked for the past 15 years.
There, doctors determined that his blood platelet level was extremely low and he was admitted with a diagnosis of Immune thrombocytopenia, or ITP, a blood disorder caused by an immune reaction.
His health problem was a reaction to the vaccine, Neckelmann said.
She went on to say that a team of doctors tried for two weeks without success to raise his platelet level and he ultimately died of a stroke.
Neckelmann added that for those two weeks Michael was conscious and energetic until two days before a last-resort surgery, when he suffered the cerebral hemorrhage that killed him within a matter of minutes.
The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office in the coming weeks will work together with the Florida Health Department and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) to determine the cause of Michael’s death.
The CDC said in a statement that it is “aware of a reported death in Florida of an individual who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine about two weeks before passing away.”
Mount Sinai Hospital said that, for privacy reasons, it could not “confirm or deny any information about any patient.”
“We are actively investigating this case, but we don’t believe at this time that there is any direct connection to the vaccine,” said Pfizer in a statement, adding that ITP is a very unusual condition which diminishes the body’s ability to coagulate the blood and stop internal hemorrhaging.
“It is important to note that serious adverse events, including deaths that are unrelated to the vaccine are unfortunately likely to occur at a similar rate as they would in the general population,” the pharmaceutical firm said.
Among the more than five million people in the US who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, there have been no serious adverse effects beyond the serious allergic reactions that have occurred in 29 people, the CDC said.
In her Facebook post, Neckelmann wrote that her husband was the “love of her life” and a pro-vaccine individual but she thought that he died because of a strong reaction to one of them, adding that “I believe that people should be aware that side effects can happen, that it is not good for everyone and in this case destroyed a beautiful life, a perfect family, and has affected so many people in the community.”