Need advice for a small crisis (covid related)

I’m sure this will distress many people but I don’t know how to say this without causing upset. Please keep in mind that I don’t have all the specific details and it’s very easy to jump to conclusions. Which is precisely why I’m here. I need some advice from some level headed people as I’m useless in this kind of situation. This will get quite personal.

Someone I know received their Covid vaccine on Thursday (three days ago). They started feeling unwell the same day. People thought she was doing better but shortly after she was taken to hospital with breathing problems. I just got the news a couple of hours ago that she passed away. She was in her seventies. Yes, she had pre-existing conditions involving blood clots, but as far as I know she was fine before getting the vaccine. It’s rather alarming how quickly it all happened.

Now, both of my parents are vulnerable with their own underlying health problems. But my biggest concern is my sister who is nearly 50 years old. She has two holes in her heart and a heart valve missing. Her organs are reversed and one is missing. She virtually has no immune system and has suffered a couple of strokes in the past - currently on a medication that thins her blood, as well as many others.

I’m finding myself in a dilemma here. I feel like I must absolutely tell my family about what’s happened. They will likely receive their vaccines soon because obviously they would be high on the waiting list. But I also know they are already terrified about getting their vaccines, telling them would freak them out. I wouldn’t forgive myself if I did nothing, but either way something awful could happen. I have no idea what to do for the best here, it feels like a no-win scenario.


Let me preface that i am not trained in this specific area I don’t know if I’m allowed to go into a lot of detail on this site, basically the vaccine produces protein cells that are meant to help fight the virus. It’s made not to alter anything just produce the proteins.
Basically when the body gets sick it creates these protein cells that create memories of how to fight the specific infection/virus/whatever, That being said I can totally understand why you’re worried and why you’re worried for your family. It could be that this person had a virus and the vaccination didn’t have enough time to create new fighter cells.
That doesn’t detract from the fact you lost someone close to you and I am so sorry to hear you’re struggling with this. Working in the area I do it’s also something I’ve been struggling with.
Do you feel like you don’t want your family to get the vaccination? Or do you feel like if you tell them about the person who passed they won’t want to get it?
Again I’m so sorry you’re in the position you are in and I’m terribly sorry for your loss.

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Thanks for the post, @e.thehuman. I don’t pretend to know the ‘facts’ about the vaccine. There’s so much misinformation around and I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t paranoid about it - I’m a cynical person and I don’t trust those who are in charge of our supposed ‘well-being’.

I don’t have many people close to me but almost all of them are vulnerable medically speaking. Part of me doesn’t want them or myself to get the vaccine, but then there’s the pandemic to consider. I don’t know if telling them would make them decide against it, it would certainly frighten them. But like I said before, if I did nothing either way and something happens. Apart from the personal loss, I’m not sure I’d cope with that knowledge that I should have said something. There really doesn’t appear to be any way out of this situation without a mass of pain and anxiety involved. I’m already struggling as it is - not my first topic on this forum - and I’m not sure how much more I could handle.


It’s totally hard having people who are vulnerable to consider and look after. I don’t want you to feel like any of the information is to pressure you or your decisions in any way either. You just want the best for those you love. I wish I had the exact right thing to say to make it easier for you. I do hope sharing and talking is taking some of the burden off though. Maybe someone else has more advice, but if it helps I’d totally love to keep hearing about your journey through this and be there with you through it.

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Hi Nikki,
The best people to talk to, if you can, will be the healthcare people in your area. My understanding is that people who receive the vaccine are monitored for a short while to make sure they have no allergic reaction. It may seem reasonable to believe that your friend who died as a result of receiving the vaccine, but I would not assume that is what happened without more information than she died. I say this only because there have been reported cases of people who already have the virus, get the vaccine. They didn’t know they were positive before getting the vaccine. A admire your caution, and I can only say that if I were worried about the vaccine causing problems, then I’d be terrified about my loved ones getting the full on virus, without a vaccine. BUT, if you have access to their primary care doctors, then I encourage you to call them and speak with them about your concerns about their patients, and your family members, which may give you a lot more information to share with your family when you speak with them.

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I’m not in a position to contact their personal doctors. I spoke on the phone with my sister tonight and she said my father is getting his vaccine on Saturday. My sister is getting hers on Tuesday. It took all my will power not to say anything.

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I know you’re deeply concerned, is there a way to talk to any healthcare people about your concerns? I will thinking of you and the health of your family, and I hope you keep us informed.

Even if I did talk to healthcare people, I doubt they could tell me much. These things affect people differently and it’s difficult to predict any side effects, especially with somebody like my sister with complicated issues. I think I would be wasting their valuable time by asking.

I decided to call my mother in the end and have a thorough talk. I felt awful going into specific detail but she was okay with it. Normally she would accompany my sister everywhere as a carer. She wasn’t going to go into the same room on Tuesday due to the social distancing rules but she will now. I think the nurses only ask generic health questions before administering the vaccines. I wanted to make sure my mom would be there to fully explain my sister’s issues as she would be too terrified to discuss it herself. Apparently, my sister’s specialist has advised her to get the vaccine as well - someone who has known her for many years.

My mom is going to keep a close watch on everyone after both doses. Really, I think that’s the best I can do. I’ll try to keep you updated.

Just a quick update @gnuone and @e.thehuman - both my father and sister have had their first dose of the pfizer vaccine. There was a bit of a scare when my sister reacted immediately after with heart palpitations and such but after about twenty minutes she was fine. They were both a little unwell and had flu like symptoms for a few days but they’re okay now. Not sure when they’re receiving their second dose, probably not for a couple of months. This thread will likely be closed but thank you both for taking the time to help me talk through this.

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Good news Nikki, thanks for sharing.

So glad to hear you’re all doing okay!

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