South Korea’s forensic agency has found no links between a 17-year-old boy’s death and a flu shot he had taken, Yonhap news agency reported, amid rising concerns about the safety of the vaccines following the death of at least 25 people.
The boy was among the first reported to have died as part of a government campaign to vaccinate about 30 million of a population of 52 million to prevent COVID-19 complications.
The toll has grown to 25 over the past week, sparking calls from doctors and politicians for a halt to the program.
Health authorities have refused to suspend the campaign, citing a lack of evidence to suggest direct links between the deaths and the vaccines.
The National Forensic Service has been conducting autopsies on some of the deceased as part of a government investigation, and determined that the 17-year-boy’s death had no relations with the vaccine, Yonhap said, citing police.
The forensic agency and police were not immediately reachable for comment.
Of the 25 cases, 22 — including the boy — received a free flu shot the government has allotted for about 19 million teenagers and senior citizens, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). At least seven of the nine people investigated had underlying conditions.
Vaccine providers include domestic firms such as GC Pharma, SK Bioscience, Korea Vaccine and Boryung Biopharma Co., a unit of Boryung Pharm Co, along with France’s Sanofi.
They supply both the free program and paid services.
Ten people received products from SK Bioscience, five each from Boryung and GC Pharma, four from Sanofi and one from Korea Vaccine.
It was not immediately clear if any of the vaccines made in South Korea were exported, or if those supplied by Sanofi were also being used elsewhere.
All four domestic firms declined to comment, while Sanofi did not respond to requests for comment.
South Korea ordered 20 percent more flu vaccines this year to ward off what it calls a “twindemic” of concurrent major flu and COVID-19 outbreaks in winter.
The KDCA reported 155 new cases as of Thursday midnight, for the second consecutive day the daily tally marked a triple-digit increase after largely hovering below 100 over the last two weeks. It brought the total infections to 25,698, with 455 deaths.
So far, 8.3 million people had been inoculated since the program began on Tuesday last week. 13, with about 350 cases of adverse reactions reported, the KDCA said.
For thousands of years, the dainty Fritillaria delavayi has grown slowly on the rocky slopes of the Hengduan mountains in China, producing a bright green flower after its fifth year. The conspicuous small plant has one deadly enemy: people, who harvest the flower for traditional Chinese medicine. As commercial harvesting has intensified, Fritillaria delavayi has vanished — by rapidly evolving to produce gray and brown leaves and flowers that cannot be so easily seen by pickers. Scientists have discovered that the color of the plant’s leaves has become more camouflaged — matching the background rocks on which they grow — in areas where
Hundreds of flights at one of China’s busiest airports were canceled yesterday as Shanghai raced to bring a local COVID-19 outbreak under control. Health officials have tested thousands of staff at Pudong International Airport since a small cluster of COVID-19 cases in the city was linked to several cargo handlers. China — where the virus first emerged late last year — has largely brought the COVID-19 pandemic under control through travel restrictions and lockdowns, but it is now battling a number of domestic outbreaks in different cities. Shanghai has reported seven local infections linked to the airport this month, with most cases found
On the morning of Oct. 23, a 56-year-old employee at West Japan Railway was inspecting trains when he encountered an Asian black bear just outside Tsuruga Station in Japan’s northwestern Fukui Prefecture. He escaped with just a scratch, but about 10 minutes later, the same bear fractured the leg of a worker at a nearby construction site. Four days before the incident, a male bear entered a four-story shopping center in neighboring Ishikawa Prefecture. The 1.3m-tall bear holed up in a storage room for 13 hours, until it was shot by a local hunting group. Between April and September, wild bears were spotted 13,670
‘OCEAN OF STORMS’: The Chang’e 5 seeks to collect about 5kg of samples from a previously unvisited area in a massive lava plain, known as Oceanus Procellarum China plans to launch an uncrewed spacecraft to the moon this week to bring back lunar rocks in the first attempt by any nation to retrieve samples from Earth’s natural satellite since the 1970s. The Chang’e 5 probe, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, would seek to collect material that could help scientists understand the moon’s origins and formation. The mission would test China’s ability to remotely acquire samples from space, ahead of more complex missions. If successful, the mission will make China only the third country to have retrieved lunar samples, following the US and the Soviet Union decades