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16yo who suffered from cardiac arrest after Covid-19 vaccine out of high-dependency ward

Investigations were launched, and it remains unclear if the case is linked to the Covid-19 vaccination.

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Singapore — The teen who suffered a cardiac arrest after lifting weights following the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine has been transferred to a general ward and “responding very positively to treatment,” said the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) group director of the crisis strategy and operations group, Mr Dinesh Vasu Dash.

On Jul 3, MOH was alerted by Khoo Teck Puat Hospital to the case of the teenage Singaporean patient who had collapsed at home that morning and was eventually treated at the hospital’s emergency department.

The teen was eventually transferred to the National University Hospital (NUH) and placed in the intensive care unit (ICU).

MOH announced that the patient received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Jun 27.

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Prior to his collapse, the teen reportedly trained at the gym, lifting heavy weights above his body weight, said Singapore’s director of medical services, Kenneth Mak.

On Jul 15, MOH said that the teen was out of ICU and placed in a high dependency ward at NUH.

“He was in ICU for quite a while. Thankfully, he’s back to a general ward right now and responding very, very positively to the treatment,” said Mr Dinesh on Tuesday (Aug 3) in a Straits Times report.

Mr Dinesh outlined the country’s Covid-19 vaccination programme during the Singapore Healthcare Management Congress held from Aug 3 to 4 virtually.

During his lecture, Mr Dinesh also applauded the teen’s brother for providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) after he collapsed.

“Credit to the brother because I think the brother did the initial CPR, and that was, according to what I’m told, absolutely excellent,” said Mr Dinesh.

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“And the medical professionals who took care of him (the boy) – I think they did an excellent job, and he’s now on the road to recovery.”

Mr Dinesh deemed it “fortuitous” that the teen is young; therefore, his ability to recover is much better.

His update came after attendees asked when children below the age of 12 would be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Although unlikely that the vaccination programme would be extended to that age group in 2021, Mr Dinesh said it might happen next year.

“We are not quite sure of vaccinating those below the age of 12 as of now. I think it will take us some time to get there, probably next year, from what I’m hearing and seeing,” he said.

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To date, adolescents aged 12 and above can take the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine, while those aged 18 and above can receive the Moderna vaccine.

Clinical and laboratory tests are in progress regarding the teen’s case to further understand the underlying cause.

“This will include a thorough consideration of whether there was acute severe myocarditis, which is severe inflammation of the heart muscles affecting the heart function, as a possible diagnosis,” said MOH.

Investigations were launched, and it remains unclear if the case is linked to the Covid-19 vaccination. /TISG

Read related: 16-year-old boy collapses from cardiac arrest; did weightlifting after Pfizer vaccine jab

16-year-old boy collapses from cardiac arrest; did weightlifting after Pfizer vaccine jab

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