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Man dies in west Japan after receiving COVID-19 vaccine; connection 'unclear'


KOCHI -- A man in his 60s collapsed at a COVID-19 vaccination venue in the western Japan prefecture of Kochi on July 4 after receiving the Pfizer vaccine and was confirmed dead in hospital soon afterward, it has been learned.

    Officials in the city of Nankoku, where the incident occurred, had not announced the death based on the wishes of the man's bereaved family, but they made a turnaround and publicly disclosed it on the evening of July 5.

    Prefectural officials said that the man was being vaccinated at a group venue under the scope for older people and collapsed during the observation period after receiving the Pfizer vaccine. He was taken to the hospital in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest and was confirmed dead there. It was not announced whether the man had an underlying condition or whether it was his first vaccine shot or not.

    Atsufumi Kawauchi, an official in the prefecture's health measures division, commented, "The causal relationship with the vaccine is unclear. We have not received a report from the central government, so we're not aware of the details."

    Officials in Nankoku said the vaccinations were performed at a sports center, and paramedics and a doctor had tried to resuscitate the man.

    It was the first case in the prefecture in which a person has fallen into a state of cardiopulmonary arrest at a vaccination venue. Some prefectural residents were unsettled by the news, with one older woman commenting, "I'm wavering over whether to get the vaccine. The authorities should release information without holding it back."

    (Japanese original by Yosuke Oyake, Kochi Bureau)

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