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A nurse fills a syringe with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Dobong health care center on February 26 in Seoul, South Korea.
A nurse fills a syringe with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Dobong health care center on February 26 in Seoul, South Korea. Jung Yeon-Je/Pool/Getty Images

South Korean health authorities investigated ten cases of severe adverse reactions and anaphylaxis reported after receiving Covid-19 vaccines and identified two linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said in a news release on Monday.

A nursing hospital patient in her 40s reported high fever and seizure after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine and low blood pressure the next day, and a medical worker in her 20s displayed anaphylaxis symptoms seven minutes after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

Both individual’s conditions improved, KDCA added.

Separately, there were two suspected blood clot cases after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccines in South Korea. One of the two died, but the Covid-19 Vaccine Damage Investigation Committee during KDCA briefing on Monday said the correlation between the vaccine and blood clot is “very low.” An investigation is continuing for the other patient, who is currently in good condition.  

Meanwhile, it is recommended that South Korea continue to use the AstraZeneca vaccine, just as the World Health Organization, European Medicines Agency, and UK Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have.

Starting on March 23, nursing hospital workers and patients over 65 will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. According to the Covid-19 Vaccine Administration Committee’s vaccination management system, 76.9% of 375,061 nursing hospital & facility workers and patients over 65 said they will get the vaccine, the KDCA press release added.

In South Korea, a total of 676,607 people have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine so far; 619,100 of those received the AstraZeneca vaccine, according to KDCA press release. A total of 9,703 adverse reactions after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine have been reported as of Monday — 9,592 had common symptoms, 89 had suspected anaphylaxis, six had severe reactions and 16 were deaths.

The committee has so far reviewed 15 of the 16 reported deaths that followed AstraZeneca vaccination and said that it is difficult to recognize the link between 13 deaths and the vaccine; two cases will be reviewed after autopsy.

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