South Florida Doctor's Death Two Weeks After Getting Coronavirus Vaccine Under Investigation
A South Florida doctor's death weeks after receiving his coronavirus vaccine is under investigation by Miami-Dade medical examiners.
Dr. Gregory Michael, 56, an OB-GYN at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, died after a hemorrhagic stroke due to a lack of platelets, said a report from USA Today.
The doctor's death was a shocking revelation for his widow who told CBS Miami that her late husband who had his coronavirus vaccine two weeks earlier was "a very healthy 56-year-old loved by everyone in the community."
It's still unclear if the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine contributed to the doctor's death.
The widow, Heidi Neckelmann, said on Facebook that Dr. Michael helped hundreds of women give birth and worked tirelessly during the course of the pandemic.
She then urged people to be aware that "side effects can happen."
If Dr. Michael's death was indeed due to the vaccine, this would be the country's first death linked to the vaccine.
Local health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working together to find out more about the cause of his death.
State health department communications director Jason Mahon in an email that they will continue to provide information to the CDC as the investigation continues.
The examiner department's director of operations Darren Caprara also told CW-affiliated PIX 11 that samples from Dr. Michael's autopsy have been sent to the CDC.
Doctor's Death Could Be Caused by Unusual Condition
Dr. Michael had his first vaccine dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine on December 18 at Mount Sinai.
About three days after getting the coronavirus vaccine, Michael sought emergency care when he saw dots on his body indicating internal bleeding, Neckelmann said.
She added that her husband had an unusual case of severe thrombocytopenia, which is a condition that affects the blood's ability to clot and stop internal bleeding.
The doctor's blood count was said to be "far below normal ranges," according to CBS affiliated WKRC Local 12. Then, after a last-resort surgery, he suffered a stroke and died.
Pfizer Believes Doctor's Death Not Directly Connected to Coronavirus Vaccine
Pfizer said in a statement that it was aware about Dr. Michael's death.
"We are actively investigating this case, but we don't believe at this time that there is any direct connection to the vaccine," the company's statement read.
So far, there have been no indications from large clinical trials or vaccine recipients that the vaccine could be connected to thrombocytopenia, the company said.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Aileen Marty said people should not be discouraged from taking the vaccine.
"There is nothing in the clinical trials that would indicate this is a likely outcome from the vaccine itself," she said.
She also pointed to the millions of individuals who were vaccinated throughout the world and compared it to the morbidity that came with not getting immunity from COVID-19 at all.
Dr. Marty also placed confidence in the state's Medical Examiner, saying it will "provide us details that will explain exactly what happened."
Pfizer and the CDC both extended their condolences to the family.
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