A teenager who was given the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine died just three weeks later, an inquest has been told. The death of Joseph McGinty, 14, was a “significant public concern”, coroner Pat O’Connor admitted, revealing that the court had submitted a request for information on the effects of the jab from the US-based pharmaceutical giant.
Family members gathered at Castlebar Courthouse in Country Mayo, Ireland for the hearing into the death of the teen, who lived on Achill Island.
Joseph received the vaccine on August 20, 2021, suffering what the court termed a significant medical deterioration shortly afterwards.
He spent the night of September 1 at Mayo University Hospital before being discharged the next day, attending hospital a week later for review.
However, his condition continued to deteriorate and just five days after that he was dead.
Mr O’Connor said: “The circumstances of Joseph McGinty’s death is that Covid vaccination was administered to him; that there appears to have been either a reaction or a significant change in his medical circumstances following the administration of the vaccine and that subsequently, unfortunately, Master McGinty died.”
Joseph’s body was formally identified by his mother Patricia on September 13, the day of his death, but she had “very little recollection of the morning in question”, barrister Rita Kilroy of Lavelle Bourke Solicitors said.
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Mr O’Connor said the inquest required “considerable investigation into the vaccine, the effects of the vaccine and also the effects of the vaccine on Master McGinty”, meaning the case could take “months or possibly years to conclude its findings.
Making an application on behalf of the family for legal aid, Ms Kilroy said: “We would perceive there to be a concern for public health and safety and potential for recurrence in two circumstances.
“The deceased’s death occurred on September 13, 2021.
“He had received the Covid vaccine on August 20, 2021 and in those circumstances, coroner, we would perceive that there would be a concern arising there that we would require the safety guidelines and so forth relating to that Pfizer vaccine to be available to the coroner and for there to be an inquiry into the circumstances in that regard.”
Mr O’Connor clarified: “The application is made to the coroner, who then must decide whether the criteria are complied with. It is not the coroner that grants legal aid, but the legal aid board.”
Ms Kilroy made an application to adjourn all other matters related to the inquest, including the reading into evidence of the cause of death, prior to the legal aid decision.
The coroner then adjourned the inquest until December 20.
Pfizer’s jab was the first to be approved for use after widespread clinical trials.
It was given “rapid temporary regulatory approval to address significant public health issues such as a pandemic” by The United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on December 2, 2020,