A 39-year-old woman with no underlying health conditions has died days after receiving her second coronavirus vaccination.
Kassidi Kurill, a single mother from Utah, received her second dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine on February 1. Four days later her family were planning her funeral.
An autopsy is underway to determine what killed Ms Kurill and whether her death was a result of the vaccine. Utah's chief Medical Examiner said making such a conclusion is likely to be difficult.
Ms Kurill’s father, Alfred Hawley, told local news outlet KUTV his daughter felt fine the day she received her vaccine but spent the following two days in bed and woke early on Thursday feeling unwell.
She asked her father to drive her to the emergency room at 7am concerned that her heart was racing and she began to throw up as soon as they arrived.
'Healthy as a horse'
When doctors quizzed Mr Hawley on what could be making his daughter so unwell, he mentioned she had just received her second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
"They did a blood test and immediately came back and said she was very, very sick, and her liver was not functioning," Mr Hawley told KUTV.
Ms Kurill was transferred to a trauma centre where doctors tried to stabilise her for a liver transplant.
"They were trying to get her to a point where she was stable enough for a liver transplant. And they just could not get her stable," Mr Hawley told Fox News.
"She got worse and worse throughout the day. And at nine o’clock, she passed."
Mr Hawley explained to Fox News his daughter was healthy and was eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination due to her job as a surgical technician.
"She was seemingly healthy as a horse, she had no known underlying conditions,” Mr Hawley said.
Ms Kurill’s family is awaiting autopsy results to determine why she passed away so suddenly.
'Did the vaccine cause this?'
Dr Erik Christensen, Utah's chief Medical Examiner told KUTV proving vaccine injury as a cause of death is difficult and rare.
“Did the vaccine cause this? I think that would be very hard to demonstrate in an autopsy," he said.
Dr Christensen believes the only instance where an official autopsy report would state the cause of death to be a vaccine would be in the case of an immediate case of anaphylaxis — one where a person received the vaccine and died almost instantaneously, he said.
“Short of that, it would be difficult for us to definitively say this is the vaccine.”
Mr Hawley said he is hopeful the autopsy will provide answers but until then he "must believe there was something with the shot".
The family has set up a GoFundMe page for a "Kassidi Kurill and Emilia Memorial Fund," in honour of Ms Kurill and her nine-year-old daughter.
Fox News reports that while side effects from the vaccine are common, resulting deaths are incredibly rare.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), about 92 million Covid-19 vaccine doses were administered in the US between December 2020 and March 2021.
Of those 92 million, VAERS received 1,637 reports of death (0.0018%) among people who received a Covid-19 vaccine.
Mr Hawley, a 69-year-old diabetic, told Fox he has received two doses of the vaccination and recognises his daughter’s death was rare.
"It appears she was the odd one out that had the terrible reaction," he said.
He insists “the vaccine is going to help you".
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