18-year-old student drops dead in university pool hall: family suspects COVID shot

An 18-year-old man in good health and physical condition suddenly collapsed and died while playing pool at a university billiards club in southern Taiwan yesterday, and the man’s family suspects his death may be related to a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to reports, the student of Nanhua University was in the middle of a game of pool at a billiards club at National Chung Cheng University when he suddenly collapsed at around 7:30 pm, yesterday, November 29.

Witnesses at the pool hall said that Chen suddenly collapsed, and his head hit the edge of a pool table as he fell. People who rushed to his assistance found he still had breathing and heartbeat, but was unconscious and bleeding from the back of his head.

A witness quoted in Formosa TV News said that Chen collapsed unconscious and began to breathe very quickly and foam at the mouth. The breathing stopped, and his legs began twitching.

Paramedics from the Chiayi County Fire Department responded to a report at 7:38 pm, but by the time they arrived, Chen had lost vital signs. Paramedics used an AED unit, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation in an effort to restore breathing and heartbeat, but Chen did not respond.

Chen was rushed to Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital where doctors put him on an extracorporeal life support system. However, doctors finally declared Chen dead at around 2:00 am this morning.

Chen’s family said today that Chen had received the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on November 12, and raised the question of whether the vaccine may be involved in his death.

Chen was described as “tall and strong,” physically fit, and with no history of health problems.

Chief Prosecutor and Spokesperson of the Chiayi District Prosecutor’s Office, Tsai Ying-jun, was interviewed by a reporter from the Central News Agency today. Tsai noted that Chen was in good health, and has no relevant medical history. Because Chen had only been administered the second dose of the BioNTech vaccine on November 12, and his family suspected that the cause of death was related to the vaccine, the District Prosecutor’s Office will conduct an autopsy on December 3 to clarify the cause of death.

Chen’s death happened just one day after “a panel of experts” decided to resume second doses of adolescents after they were halted earlier this month amid concerns about adverse events including myocarditis.

Reasons given for the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) decision was “new mutations and highly infectious strains,” and “fading effectiveness of vaccine doses over time.”

At today’s daily press briefing, Tuesday, November 30, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center announced that there had been 23 cases of myocarditis among high schoolers injected with the BioNTech product from September 22 to November 3, of which two people remain hospitalized.

ACIP’s decision to resume and go ahead with second doses for high schoolers aged from 12 to 17 also came with approval to allow third doses for adults.

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