New Zealand woman dies after receiving Pfizer vaccine

A vial containing the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
A vial containing the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus vaccine death.

A health board that monitors vaccine safety said on Monday that a woman had died from myocarditis after being given the Pfizer jab.

The board said the woman probably developed the condition because of the vaccine, although she had other medical issues which may have contributed.

Director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said myocarditis is a very rare side-effect and there is clear evidence that having a vaccination is much safer than being infected with Covid-19.

Health authorities have so far administered vaccines to more than two million New Zealanders.

The board declined to answer questions from the Associated Press, including the woman’s age and the date of her death, citing protocol because a coroner is investigating the case further.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Auckland will remain in strict lockdown for at least two more weeks and the rest of the country for at least another week, but with slightly fewer restrictions, as the nation battles an outbreak of the Delta variant, which was first identified in India.