Vivekh, the Tamil comedian and actor, who was admitted to a private hospital in Chennai on Friday after he was brought unconscious, had suffered a “separate cardiac event” unrelated to the Covid-19 vaccination he was administered on Thursday, hospital authorities clarified in a press conference on Friday.
The actor subsequently died early on Saturday.
Vivekh, who was 59 was under treatment at SIMS Hospital in Vadapalani, Chennai where he was brought unconscious at 11 am by his family members on Friday. He was resuscitated in the emergency room and underwent Emergency Coronary Angiogram followed by Angioplasty. He was then admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and was put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (extracorporeal life support) on Friday. According to the hospital, his health condition was an “acute coronary syndrome with cardiogenic shock” and “may not be due to Covid vaccination”.
On Thursday, the actor had received the Covid-19 vaccination in the presence of Tamil Nadu Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Dr J Radhakrishnan, at Omandurar Medical College, a government hospital in Chennai.
— Vivekh actor (@Actor_Vivek) April 15, 2021
Vivekh, who had addressed the media after taking the vaccination, said, “People may question my decision to get vaccinated at a government hospital instead of a private one. It is the government hospitals who deliver medical services to a majority of the population, including poor people. There are hesitations and several rumours surrounding the Covid vaccine among the general public. To put an end to all this, I wanted to take the vaccine at a government hospital. One may ask- if I take the vaccine, will I be immune to Covid-19? This is not the way it works. Even after getting the vaccine, we need to be careful.”
However, government officials faced backlash after the actor was admitted to the hospital, a day after taking the jab. Actor Mansoor Ali Khan, while addressing the media on Friday, said “It is appalling to see a man who was doing well getting sick after taking the vaccine.”
“Why cannot people drink herbal and Ayurvedic medicines instead of getting vaccinated?” Khan asked.
Radhakrishnan and Dr. Raju Sivasamy, Vice President of SIMS, in the press conference held on Friday, put an end to allegations and said that the actor had suffered a “pure cardiac event” and denied any link between his health condition and the Covid-19 vaccination. “The CT scan of the actor reveals no symptom of Covid-19. The LAD vessel in his left coronary artery has been blocked 100%. It is his first attack,” the doctor said.
The untimely demise of noted actor Vivek has left many saddened. His comic timing and intelligent dialogues entertained people. Both in his films and his life, his concern for the environment and society shone through. Condolences to his family, friends and admirers. Om Shanti.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 17, 2021
He also added that an angiogram was performed, followed by an angioplasty, after which a stent was placed. Raju said that the actor had light blood pressure.
The state health secretary, addressing the media, said that about 830 others were also vaccinated at the government hospital along with Vivekh. “About 5.6 lakh people have taken Covaxin. He [Vivekh] had wanted to get vaccinated and thought it would be encouraging for others as well,” Radhakrishnan said. The official also said that the block had no direct connection with the vaccine and that a block would not develop within a day. He added that people aged between 40-95 years have been taking the vaccine and that currently, only pregnant and lactating mothers, people below 18 years, and people who have tested positive for Covid-19 are advised not to take the jab.
The last rites of the actor will be held at his residence on Saturday. Vivekh is survived by his wife Arulselvi and two daughters Tejaswini and Amirthanandini. Vivekh’s son Prasanna Kumar died due to dengue complications in 2015.