The coroner is investigating the girl’s cause of death, but anti-vaccine militants blame the COVID-19 shot.
The province’s coroner has opened an investigation into the death of a 15-year-old girl, who collapsed at École Secondaire Louis Riel on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the coroner’s office, Jake Lamotta Granato, confirmed Thursday that there is an investigation that has begun into the circumstances of the girl’s death, but could not provide any more details, saying the investigation is private until a report has been filed.
Jean-Mari Dufresne, a spokesperson for Urgences Santé said a call came in to 911 at 2:40 p.m. on Tuesday for a girl who was in cardiac arrest. Firefighter first responders were on the scene at 2:45 p.m. using defibrillators. Advanced care paramedics arrived at 2:58 p.m., and the girl was taken to a hospital in the area around 3:15 p.m.
The girl’s death became a flashpoint for anti-vaccine militants who alleged the death was caused by a vaccine against COVID-19. According to a report in La Presse, a group came to the school on Wednesday and became involved in a shouting match with teachers, claiming that the vaccination campaign was responsible for the girl’s death, and that the school was hiding the truth. However, the school board confirmed that there had been no vaccination campaign on the day the girl died. The campaign started a day later.
On Twitter, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge wrote that he was scandalized that militants would use the girl’s death as a means to to spread disinformation. “It’s an irresponsible act and I offer all my condolences to those close to the victim and to the school’s staff,” he wrote.
Speaking to reporters in Quebec City, Health Minister Christian Dubé pleaded with anti-vaccine protesters to leave children out of their protests.
“They can make the demonstrations that they want, but please, don’t go to schools; leave the students alone,” he said.