Italy Launches Manslaughter Investigation As Teacher Dies Hours After Getting AstraZeneca Jab
15 March, 2021
After law-enforcement authorities in Sicily and Piedmont seized batches of the AstraZeneca COVID jab, prosecutors in the EU’s third-largest economy have launched a manslaughter investigation after a music teacher died just hours after receiving the jab.
According to Italian-language media outlets, 57-year-old Sandro Tognatti died after receiving the jab in his hometown of Biella on Saturday afternoon. He soon developed a high fever, but went to bed anyway, he his wife, Simona Riussi, told the Italian press.
The next morning, Riussi awoke to find Tognatti dead. She called an ambulance, but Tognatti was already dead. Prosecutors in Piedmont officially launched the investigation later in the day. As we mentioned above, prosecutors also seized a batch with nearly 400K jabs in it.
So far, health authorities have insisted that there’s no link between the jab and Tognatti’s death. Officials said a criminal investigation was launched to be “completely sure” that the man’s death “cannot be attributed to the above-mentioned inoculation”.
Italy, France, Germany and a handful of other nations temporarily suspended the AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of patients developing deadly blood clots surfaced. Deaths were reported in Austria and elsewhere, which prompted Denmark, Iceland and other nations (as far away as Thailand) to halt the jabs to allow for a brief investigation. AstraZeneca and the EMA (Europe’s top regulatory authority) have insisted that there’s nothing to suggest a link between the jabs and heightened risk for blood clots, but in a press conference Tuesday morning, the agency promised to investigate.
Among the more than 11M Italians who have already been vaccinated, Italian authorities have documented at least 15 cases of blood clots and 22 cases of pulmonary embolis among those who have received the jabs.
AstraZeneca said on Tuesday that it will supply the U.S. government with an additional 500,000 doses of its experimental, long-acting antibody-based Covid-19 combination treatment that aims to protect those who aren’t able to be vaccinated.
The $205 million agreement to supply the treatment—called AZD7442—builds on a deal the Anglo-Swedish drug manufacturer struck last year with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense (DoD).
Under that deal, announced in October, the U.S. invested $486 million for the development and supply of 100,000 doses of AZD7442, with an option to acquire up to an additional one million doses in 2021.
Ireland became the latest country on Sunday to suspend the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZenaca and Oxford University after a Norwegian regulator reported a few recipients developed blood clots following their doses–mirroring developments in other countries that have taken similar precautions as the vaccine remains under clinical trials in the United States.
Ireland’s health department recommended that the administration of AstraZeneca’s vaccine be “temporarily deferred” immediately on Sunday morning, citing a report from the Norwegian Medicines Agency that highlighted four instances of “serious blood clotting events” in adults who had received the vaccine.
In a statement, the nation’s deputy chief medical officer said it has not concluded that there is “any link” between the vaccine and the cases, but that the decision to suspend its administration was made out of precaution and pending further information.
Other countries, including Iceland, Denmark and Norway, suspended their administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine last week on separate concerns over blood clotting, but the World Health Organization and regional authorities have said there is no evidence the vaccines caused the coagulation.