After law-enforcement authorities in Sicily and Piedmont seized batches of the AstraZeneca COVID jab, prosecutors in the EU's third-largest economy have launched a manslaughter investigation after a music teacher died just hours after receiving the jab.
According to Italian-language media outlets, 57-year-old Sandro Tognatti died after receiving the jab in his hometown of Biella on Saturday afternoon. He soon developed a high fever, but went to bed anyway, he his wife, Simona Riussi, told the Italian press.
The next morning, Riussi awoke to find Tognatti dead. She called an ambulance, but Tognatti was already dead. Prosecutors in Piedmont officially launched the investigation later in the day. As we mentioned above, prosecutors also seized a batch with nearly 400K jabs in it.
So far, health authorities have insisted that there's no link between the jab and Tognatti's death. Officials said a criminal investigation was launched to be "completely sure" that the man's death "cannot be attributed to the above-mentioned inoculation".
Italy, France, Germany and a handful of other nations temporarily suspended the AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of patients developing deadly blood clots surfaced. Deaths were reported in Austria and elsewhere, which prompted Denmark, Iceland and other nations (as far away as Thailand) to halt the jabs to allow for a brief investigation. AstraZeneca and the EMA (Europe's top regulatory authority) have insisted that there's nothing to suggest a link between the jabs and heightened risk for blood clots, but in a press conference Tuesday morning, the agency promised to investigate.
Among the more than 11M Italians who have already been vaccinated, Italian authorities have documented at least 15 cases of blood clots and 22 cases of pulmonary embolis among those who have received the jabs.