The Department of Health said the 63-year-old man had received the shot on February 26 at Kwun Chung Sports Centre in Jordan, one of the government’s designated vaccination sites. He was sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital on February 28 after suffering shortness of breath, South China Morning Post reported.
A source said the man had suffered a cardiac arrest soon after he was admitted, and died on the same day after failed resuscitation attempts.
“At the moment, the causal relationship with the vaccination cannot be ascertained,” the department said in a late-night statement, adding that it was seeking more information from the Hospital Authority.
The source said that when the man was admitted to the hospital, clinicians were notified that he had been vaccinated with the Sinovac jab, but at that time they thought the conditions were unrelated, as the patient suffered from chronic illnesses.
A hospital spokesman said the man, who also had a record of respiratory tract diseases, was admitted at about 1:30 am on Sunday.
He was transferred to a medical ward at about 3 am but his condition deteriorated rapidly and he died at around 6 am. The Coroner’s Court would follow up on the death, the spokesman said.
In a press briefing at about 12.30 am on Wednesday, hospital deputy chief executive Dr Johnny Chan Wai-man said the patient told emergency unit staff he had received a jab, but personnel in the medical ward were not aware of the vaccination as they focused on his rapidly deteriorating condition.
Chan said no signs of allergic reactions were detected during resuscitation attempts and staff believed from clinical judgments the patient had chronic bronchitis, for which he was treated.
None of the patient’s conditions that day could be associated with inoculation, he said.
The Sinovac vaccine, which was produced by Chinese drugmaker Sinovac Biotech, is 50.4 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 with symptoms ranging from mild to severe, according to the institute.
Experts have raised questions about the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine.
At least seven people in Hong Kong had been sent to hospital after they developed complications – such as a rapid heartbeat, dizziness and high blood pressure – following Sinovac shots over the past few days.
Experts had said adverse reactions reported by several people after receiving shots of the mainland-made Sinovac vaccine were unlikely to be linked to the jab. Some 40,000 people have received the jab so far.
The University of Hong Kong’s Professor Ivan Hung Fan-ngai, co-convenor of the expert committee on adverse reactions to vaccines, said the conditions reported by the patients were also common in other situations.
“Dizziness is a common response among some people who get injected for vaccinations or blood-drawing. Many people also have palpitations,” he said, referring to the condition of a fast-beating or fluttering heart. He said the committee would meet on Wednesday to look into the adverse events.