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Sanitation worker who died within hours of Covid vaccine had heart ailment, say officials

Grieving family members of the deceased refused to allow the body to be taken for a panel postmortem, following which it has been postponed to Monday.

By: Express News Service | Vadodara |
January 31, 2021 8:59:13 pm
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A 30-year-old sanitation worker of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) died within hours of taking the Covishield vaccine as part of the civic body’s ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive in Vadodara on Sunday with health officials saying he had a pre-existing cardiac condition.

Grieving family members of the deceased refused to allow the body to be taken for a panel postmortem, following which it has been postponed to Monday.

According to VMC Medical Officer for Health, Dr Devesh Patel, the deceased, Jignesh Solanki, a sanitation worker of Ward 9 of the VMC, received the Covishield vaccine at the Sudamapuri Urban Primary Health Centre (UPHC) around 10.30 am as part of VMC’s vaccination drive across 35 centres in the city.

“He was observed for 30 minutes as per protocol. He did not show any discomfort or signs of side-effects and left. He passed away around 1.30 pm, after reaching his house,” he said.

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According to VMC health department’s preliminary inquiry, Patel said, Solanki was suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy, which causes dialation of heart muscles, increasing the risk of a heart failure.

Patel said, “He was admitted to a hospital in 2016 for treatment and his medical reports show that he had a 35% ejection fraction, which is a life-threatening condition. However, we are waiting for autopsy report to know the exact cause of his death.”

According to Medical Superintendent of SSG Hospital, Dr Ranjan Aiyar, the panel postmortem could not be carried out on Sunday as the bereaved family refused to shift the body to the autopsy room until officials of the VMC and leaders of the sanitation workers’ union arrived.

Aiyar told The Indian Express, “When he arrived at the SSG Hospital, he was already dead. However, the relatives were in a state of shock and could not understand the pre-existing medical complications. His existing medical reports indicate 35% ejection fraction, which is dangerous. They did not allow the autopsy.”

Solanki’s wife, Divya, said, “He was hale and hearty until he went for the vaccination. He reported to work as usual in the morning and took the vaccination as per the instruction of the ward officer. He returned home and freshened up and seemed fine. All of a sudden, he went into a seizure and could not speak. Before we could react, he was unconscious.”

“When we brought him to the hospital, they told us he had already passed away. We have two daughters, who are under 10 years of age. Who will take care of our family now,” Divya said, alleging that Solanki was under pressure and was not given “good advice” to avoid taking the vaccine.

When asked if Solanki was a “fit case” to be administered the vaccine, Patel said, “There is no contra-indication for the vaccine being administered to people with heart ailments. We will await the autopsy report.”

VN Mahida, inspector of Raopura police station, under whose jurisdiction SSG campus comes, said, “The family was counselled in the evening to allow the procedures to take place and they seem to have agreed but because it was already evening and the staff of the hospital had already left, the autopsy was pushed for the next day.”

An FIR of accidental death, however, was registered at the Manjalpur police station — the jurisdictional police station of the area where Solanki resides and died.

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