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Govt report says actor Vivek’s death not vaccine-related, coincidental


October 23, 2021

3 min


The death of Tamil comedy actor Vivek two days after he received Covid19 jab led to speculation of it being vaccine related. A government report has put a lid on this speculation.

As India prides itself on administering 100 crore doses of the Covid19 vaccine, its efficacy to keep the global pandemic at bay has received yet another booster dose of confidence, literally.

This comes in the form of a report of the union ministry of health and family welfare (MoH & FW) ruling that Kollywood actor Vivek’s death was not vaccine-related. Vivek, 59, a popular comedy actor in the Tamil film industry passed away in the wee hours of April 17, a day after he was admitted to the hospital after complaining of chest pain.

The actor coincidentally had taken his Covid19 jab on April 15 and rumour mills attributed his subsequent and sudden demise as the direct fallout of getting vaccinated. The doctors attending on Vivek had clarified that the actor had succumbed to cardiac arrest and had nothing to do with the vaccine. This subsequent chatter on social media in its way contributed to vaccine hesitancy among the undecided populace.

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Putting a lid on all this speculation, the department of immunization under MoH&FW has categorically ruled out Vivek’s death due to the vaccine. In its Serious Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) report, the department stated that that the actor’s death was due to acute myocardial infarction with cardiogenic shock with ventricular fibrillation in a known case of hypertension.

Dr. Sivasamy who attended on the actor at the hospital had stated that ventricular fibrillation, a separate cardiac event that results in decreased flow of blood to the brain was also a cause for Vivek’s demise.

Although this was the actor’s first heart attack, in the end analysis, provide to be severe enough to snuff out a promising acting career. The medical team had carried out an angiogram, followed it with angioplasty and even placed a stent. The actor was put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and the team had hoped it would take him at least 24-hours to respond.

Initial reports had categorised Vivek’s death to type C or simply put coincidental – underlying or emerging condition and not related to the vaccine. The latest report from the department has only confirmed the same.

Incidentally, this report that was published on September 14 had domain specialists including cardiologists, neurologists, pulmonary medicine specialists, obstetrician-gynecologists’ on the national level casualty assessment sub-committee. The report is also expected to boost ongoing efforts in Tamil Nadu to ramp up vaccination efforts among the undecided lot and also address vaccine hesitancy that the death of the actor may have willy-nilly fueled.

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