Doctor Dies Two Weeks After COVID Vaccination

Medical authorities are investigating Dr. Gregory Michael's death
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2021 3:24 PM CST
Death of Doctor Who Received Vaccine Under Investigation
A health care professional prepares a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Gregory Michael, an obstetrician in Miami Beach, got his first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccination on Dec. 18. Some two weeks later, he was dead, CBS12 reports. “He was a very healthy 56 year old,” wife Heidi Neckelmann writes on Facebook, adding, “He was a pro vaccine advocate that is why he got it himself.” Now, Michael’s death is being investigated by local and state medical authorities, as well as the CDC, per the Miami Herald. Vaccine manufacturer Pfizer said it is aware of Michael’s death, saying it was caused by a “highly unusual clinical case of severe thrombocytopenia, a condition that decreases the body’s ability to clot blood and stop internal bleeding.”

“We are actively investigating this case, but we don’t believe at this time that there is any direct connection to the vaccine,” a company spokesman tells the Herald. Darren Caprara of the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner Department tells ABC that “the cause of death is still pending.” A few days after getting the vaccine, spots began to appear on Michael’s hands and feet, per reports. He was admitted to the ICU with a blood count well below normal ranges, the Sun-Sentinel reports. Doctors tried to raise his platelet count for two weeks “to no avail,” per Neckelmann’s Facebook post. “He got a hemorrhagic stroke caused by the lack of platelets that took his life in a matter of minutes,” she writes. A Pfizer spokesman says the company is monitoring adverse reactions from the vaccine. The CDC announced Wednesday that there have been 21 cases of anaphylaxis out of some 2 million people vaccinated in the US. (More COVID-19 stories.)

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