The State Institute for Drug Control (SÚKL) has registered 148 suspicious deaths following Covid-19 vaccination, with many of these cases reported by family members. Reports of suspected adverse reactions to the vaccine are regularly evaluated at the European level, said Irena Storová, the director of the institute. More side effects are reported by the general public than healthcare professionals.
“To these reports, we need further information so that they can be properly evaluated after being submitted to the European database,” Storová said.
The drug institute thus contacts the attending physician, examining the deceased’s medical history along with any other drugs used by the individual.
“The evaluation is being carried out at the European level, and, at the moment, I cannot say with certainty that a specific situation has been fully confirmed,” she added.
To date, almost 17 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the Czech Republic, and approximately 11,000 adverse reactions of varying severity have been reported.
Healthcare professionals are obliged by law to report more serious and unexpected side effects.
“When a significant suspicion is reported, it is very important to gradually complete the safety profile of not only vaccines but all drugs,” Storová added.
In addition to the Czech drug institute, the drug manufacturers are also obliged to collect data on adverse reactions.
Adverse reactions vary in different vaccines
The most frequently administered vaccine in the Czech Republic is Pfizer/BioNTech, which has been investigated over suspicion of causing heart inflammation. However, the European Medicines Agency considers it a very rare adverse reaction that occurs in less than a single number of cases per 10,000 individuals.
In the case of Moderna and Janssen vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, people who have the so-called capillary leak syndrome are not permitted to take the vaccines. Modern vaccines have been paused in a number of Scandinavian countries over concerns of adverse heart reactions.
Due to suspicious blood clots, some countries, including the Czech Republic, have restricted vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine. It is not administered to people under the age of 60 since last year. In the Czech Republic, about 890,000 doses of this vaccine were administered.
Similar problems have been reported with Janssen single-dose vaccine. The European Medicines Agency also examined it in connection to spinal cord inflammation and the so-called Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare immune system disorder that causes inflammation of the nerves. About 410,000 people were vaccinated with this vaccine in the Czech Republic.