NE DHHS announces first COVID-19 related death of a fully-vaccinated person; says it's extremely rare

Deceased had underlying conditions and was in her 80s
Posted at 12:40 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 13:40:52-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — On Wednesday, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced the extremely rare and only death of a fully-vaccinated person due to COVID-19 in the state.

According to the DHHS release, the death was of a woman in her 80s with underlying conditions and death occurred more than 14 days after completing a Pfizer vaccination series.

Nebraska's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Anthone said, “We are saddened to learn of this occurrence. While no deaths occurred in vaccinated individuals in the clinical trials, we understand that no vaccine or medication is 100% effective when used by millions of people. This does not negate the importance of vaccination and all of the positive effects of vaccination. Our state is approaching 50% of the total population being fully vaccinated and we need to keep that momentum. All Nebraskans who can get vaccinated should do so as soon as possible."

The DHHS stressed that this is a rare occurrence and the only death of a person due to COVID-19 following vaccination in the state.

“Of 2,244 people that have died from COVID-19 in Nebraska, only one of these had been fully vaccinated. This represents 0.0004 or 0.04% of all COVID-19 deaths,” the department said.

The woman was hospitalized at the time of her death and was a resident in the Two Rivers Public Health Department district which serves people near Kearney.

Weekly deaths related to COVID-19 are the lowest they have been since March of 2020. The DHHS said the vaccines “likely played the biggest role in the steep decline” and a reduction in case numbers.

While vaccines do help most people develop a desired immune system response, the DHHS said a small number of people who are elderly or have compromised immune systems “may not mount a strong immune response, hence it’s all of our duty and responsibility to get vaccinated to further protect ourselves and the most vulnerable among us.”

The DHHS also provided numbers on a national scale.

“Vaccine breakthrough cases occur in only a small percentage of vaccinated persons. Per CDC, no unexpected patterns have been identified in the case demographics or vaccine characteristics among people with reported vaccine breakthrough infections. Among 95 million people in the United States who have been fully vaccinated, only 112 deaths due to COVID-19 have been identified,” it said.

Looking at those numbers, the percentage of people who have died after being fully vaccinated is about 0.0001% nationally.

Download our apps today for all of our latest coverage.

Get the latest news and weather delivered straight to your inbox.

Coronavirus Resources and Information

Johns Hopkins global coronavirus tracker