BEIJING: Two people died after they were inoculated with the H1N1 flu vaccine in China, health authorities reported, amid wariness among the Chinese about the quality of the shot.
Deng Haihua, spokesman for the health ministry, said in a statement posted on the website late Friday that authorities had been notified of the deaths in the past two days, but he gave no personal details of the victims.
Preliminary results of an autopsy on one of the victims revealed the patient suffered a sudden death due to heart issues and experts had ruled out a link to an allergic reaction to the vaccine, according to the statement.
Deng said final results had yet to be announced, and an autopsy on the second victim was underway.
But he sought to play down the news amid public concern – a survey published by state media in October revealed that over half of Chinese did not plan to be vaccinated as they were unsure about the safety of the shot.
“Specialists say that it is unavoidable that several serious adverse reactions will happen amid the more than 10 million people who have received the vaccine, and the 20, 30, 150 million who will in the future,” Deng said.
China has so far reported 43 deaths from A(H1N1) influenza and more than 65,900 cases of the disease, according to the health ministry.