A nurse who died shortly after being vaccinated for COVID-19 in the southern Georgian city of Akhaltsikhe was not given potentially life-saving treatment, Georgian prosecutors have said.
Megi Bakradze passed away shortly after receiving a shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine on 18 March, dealing a blow to vaccination efforts in the country, which already had high rates of vaccine hesitancy. Bakradze had been touting the mass inoculation campaign on local TV while receiving the vaccine.
[Read more on OC Media: Fears of vaccine hesitancy grow after nurse dies in Georgia]
A preliminary investigation found that she suffered a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine. Medical staff at the facility in Akhaltsike initially insisted they administered a shot of epinephrine to Bakradze after she fell ill. Epinephrine is a routine and highly effective treatment for severe allergic reactions of all kinds.
However, the Prosecutor’s Office has announced that two attending physicians and a nurse who were charged with perjury on 7 April had admitted to lying about this during the investigation into her death.
The Prosecutor’s Office said they had lied about immediately intervening after Bakradze fell ill in the waiting room. Those vaccinated are asked to remain in the facility after getting their shots to be monitored as a precaution.
Additionally, the primary doctor at the facility has admitted to leaving Bakradze several minutes after she was vaccinated, contradicting her original statement.
All three charged with falsely testifying to the investigation have been granted ₾3,000 ($870) bail.
The family of the deceased welcomed the turn of the investigation. Their lawyer, Vakhtang Baramashvili, had maintained from early on that they suspected negligence.
[Read more: Datablog | Georgia among worst in the world for vaccine hesitancy]