Two Hong Kong residents have died and many others are in serious condition after receiving a Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccination, government officials say.
The Hong Kong government announced this past weekend that a 55-year-old woman with chronic diseases died March 5 of a stroke, three days after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
"Whether or not the cause of death is related to the use of the vaccine or whether or not it has a direct or indirect correlation, we need to refer the case with full clinical details to the expert committee on clinical events assessment following COVID-19 immunization for a very thorough deliberation and try to see if there is any causality," the Hong Kong government said in a press release.
A 71-year-old man also died of a suspected heart attack after receiving the vaccine, officials say.
In addition, two other elderly resident who had received the vaccine were admitted to a hospital after feeling ill.
A total of 83,400 people in Hong Kong were vaccinated with the "Sinovac" Chinese made vaccine.
The Chinese government and Hong Kong are in a years-long standoff over Beijing's attempt to curb pro-democracy efforts in the territory that have included violent protests.
Still, Hong Kong officials said this weekend that joint scientific committee and the expert committee set up under Hong Kong Laws have made sure the use of vaccines in priority groups including the elderly "has benefits that far outweigh the risks."
They also said they will continue the vaccinations program "unless there are other conclusions drawn up by the expert committee."
Hong Kong only approved three types of vaccines: one from the Chinese company Sinovac CoronaVac vaccine, another from German company BioNTech and the single-dose Oxford-Astra-Zeneca vaccine.