Health Minister: Moruca schoolboy was born with brain condition; vaccine did not trigger brain bleed

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Joshua Henry, the 14-year-old schoolboy who died about 90 minutes after he received his second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, was born with a brain condition that eventually led to his death from a brain bleed.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health reported that the autopsy conducted on the young Henry found that he died of a ruptured cerebral (or brain) aneurysm, that led to cerebral haemorrhage. This aneurysm, the ministry said, was a pre-existing condition. In simpler terms, an aneurysm occurs when a bulge forms in a blood vessel in the brain and fills with blood.

“He was born with that problem and unfortunately it was not detected before,” Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony said on Thursday while responding to questions from the News Room during his daily COVID-19 update.

He later explained: “These things happen because if the wall [of the blood vessel] is very thin, it means it can happen.

“It is like a ticking time bomb and with an aneurysm if you don’t detect it early, you can have these problems happening.”

Dr. Anthony also stated that during the past year, there were at least two other children who had this condition. But, in those cases, their brain conditions were detected early and they were able to receive the necessary treatment. In Joshua’s case, Dr. Anthony said his condition was never diagnosed.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony

Because Joshua’s aneurysm reportedly ruptured after he received that vaccine, there have been concerns that the vaccine may have triggered that.

The health minister, however, said, “There is no evidence that the vaccine triggered the rupturing of the aneurysm and there in the [medical] literature there is no such thing that vaccines will accelerate the rupturing of an aneurysm.”

The Health Minister was also asked pointedly if he believes it was coincidental that the boy’s aneurysm ruptured and led to his death after taking the vaccine.

Dr. Anthony’s response was: “It is coincidental.”

Following the autopsy, the health ministry’s press release also stated that there was no scarring or hematoma (a collection of blood under the skin) found near the vaccination site on the boy’s arm.

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