California sheriff's office ignored warning, implied man's death was linked to COVID-19 vaccine

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The Placer County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office implied that a man's death was linked to a COVID-19 vaccine in January over the objection of a county health official, The Sacramento Bee reported March 30.

Turns out the man's death and the vaccination were a coincidence, the sheriff's office later admitted. 

But the sheriff's office posted on Facebook in January that a county resident was given a COVID-19 shot Jan. 21 and died the same day. The office said it was investigating the death. 

The county's health department pleaded with the sheriff's office not to release a statement implying the man died from the vaccine, according to emails obtained by the Bee

When the sheriff's office made the announcement, it was used by anti-vaccine activists to discredit COVID-19 vaccines, the Bee reported.

According to the Bee, Rob Oldham, MD, director of Placer's Health and Human Services agency emailed Undersheriff Wayne Woo before the statement was posted, stating: "We strongly believe it is premature to do any public messaging surrounding this death. We can see very little benefit to public health in doing so and substantial potential detriment." 

A week after the Facebook announcement, the sheriff's office released a second statement saying that the man hadn't died from the vaccine. The office also identified the man as a 64-year-old healthcare worker who had underlying medical conditions. 

Jake Scott, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Stanford University in California, told the Bee that the sheriff's decision to make the announcement despite the health department's recommendation not to was "terribly irresponsible," and that it may have had lethal "ripple effects." 

Angela Musallam, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office, told the Bee: "As a result of the compelling information, the Placer County Sheriff's Office felt it was important to inform the community of this significant incident."

Read the full article here

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