CDC to Investigate Claims of COVID Vaccine Related Death in Nebraska

News Release
For Immediate Release: 2/11/2021

Khalilah LeGrand, Office of Communications, (402) 471-9313,


​Lincoln – The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has been made aware that the COVID-19 vaccine was listed as one of several causes of death for an individual in the State.  The individual, a male in his late 40s with a number of comorbidities and a long-term care facility resident, died between 1 and 2 weeks after receiving his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.  The death has been entered into VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a national vaccine safety surveillance program run by CDC and the FDA. Anytime a death or any adverse event occurs post vaccination, the case must be reported into VAERS. This process allows the CDC and FDA to closely monitor and assess any adverse events, for ongoing safety evaluations. As is standard protocol for any death reported in VAERS it will be fully reviewed.  The death occurred on Jan. 17 and the man received the vaccine the first week of January.

Dr. Gary Anthone, Nebraska's Chief Medical Officer said, “Residents of Long-term care facilities have been made a high priority in the State to receive vaccinations, due to higher mortality rates in this medically frail population.  We have confidence in the safety of the vaccine and understand that there may be questions about a situation such as this.  Typically, COVID-19 vaccine deaths can be attributed to anaphylaxis and occur within a relatively short period after the vaccine is given, which is why monitoring is done.  While I cannot speculate on this case, when individuals die days or weeks after the vaccine has been administered, it is more likely due to other underlying factors.  It is really important for individuals that have high-risk conditions to consult their medical provider about the best approach to getting vaccinated." 

Vaccination is the best line of defense against the COVID-19 pandemic.   ​

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