Last month, a 51-year-old man was found dead on a Pegasus Airlines flight when it landed at the Hamburg airport in Germany. It has now been confirmed that the man was infected with COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.
The man boarded Pegasus Flight PC1-43 from Istanbul on Oct. 25. After the plane landed, airline staff found the man dead in his seat. A spokesperson from the police department stated that the individual, who occupied a window seat, was traveling alone. The person’s eyes were closed and his head was ajar, which might have made others on the plane believe he was sleeping.
The COVID-19 test result from Istanbul showed that he was infected before boarding the flight, authorities later confirmed.
Pegasus insisted that they had observed all COVID-19 safety protocols for the trip. Before allowing the man inside the plane, he had to provide proof of vaccination. The name of the individual is being kept private by the airlines. “We extend our condolences to the family and neighbors of the passenger,” Pegasus said in a statement.
Though authorities confirmed that the man was infected, the exact cause of his death remains unclear. Some reports suggest that the individual was suffering from several ailments. It is also not known whether the man showed any symptoms of infection prior to his demise. The plane’s cabin crew as well as the passengers who were sitting near him during the flight have been asked to report to the health department.
Current travel regulations in Germany require that passengers provide their COVD-19 status prior to boarding a plane from Turkey. The passengers must be vaccinated, fully tested, or should have recovered from the infection to be allowed into Germany. A vaccinated person does not need to submit a negative COVID-19 test result.
Though some people think getting fully vaccinated will protect them from the coronavirus infection, this is far from the truth. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned in a Nov. 5 report that vaccinated individuals can “still get COVID-19.” Such incidents, called “breakthrough cases,” have been widely reported throughout the country and elsewhere.
The state of Arizona has recorded a large number of such breakthrough cases. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), 49,692 breakthrough cases have been identified in the state, of which 376 people died. The cause of their death was not specified.
Close to 30-thousand of these breakthrough cases were seen in individuals who were inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine, 14,553 among those who received a Moderna jab, and 5,552 in people who had received a J&J shot.