Coroner confirms Dunedin death linked to Covid vaccine

Rory Nairn died in November last year. Photo: supplied
Rory Nairn died in November last year. Photo: supplied
A coroner has confirmed a Dunedin plumber died as a result of receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.

Rory Nairn (26) died at the home he shared with his fiance Ashleigh Wilson on November 17 last year and a three-day coronial inquest into his death began last month.

Coroner Sue Johnson has released an initial decision in which she confirmed the man had died of myocarditis, a rare heart condition, due to the Pfizer vaccine he had received 12 days before his death.

She was still to consider the circumstances of Mr Nairn’s death, whether it could have been prevented and whether any recommendations or comments were required.

“Given the public interest in whether or not Rory’s death was related to the Covid-19 vaccination he received on 5 November 2021, I consider it important to make public my findings as to the cause of Rory’s death as soon as I established it,” Ms Johnson explained in the decision, made public today.

The inquiry heard Ms Wilson and Mr Nairn had been out for breakfast to celebrate buying their dream home when he made an impromptu decision to get the jab.

At a family dinner later that night he commented his chest felt “weird” and made further disclosures about heart flutters over the following days.

On the night of his death, Mr Nairn’s discomfort became more severe and just minutes after agreeing to go to hospital he collapsed in the bathroom.

Emergency services rushed to the scene, but he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

The inquiry heard that Mr Nairn had not been warned of the risks of myocarditis.

The pharmacist who vaccinated him said it was not company protocol to specifically mention it, and at the time she was unaware it could be fatal.

Both she and the pharmacy where Mr Nairn was inoculated have name suppression.

The coronial inquiry also heard from managers associated with the Ministry of Health, Te Whatu Ora Southern and Medsafe.

Much of the questioning focused on the communications between the various health departments and vaccinators.

Pathologist Noelyn Hung said Mr Nairn’s heart was “soft and pale” when she examined it.

There was no test that could show the myocarditis was caused by the vaccine but she told the court it came down to “diagnosis by exclusion”.

Mr Nairn did not have rheumatic fever, there was no sign of a bacteria, virus or fungi, and he had not been using anti-psychotic medications which were known to cause the inflammation of the heart muscle.