Singapore – A 72-year-old Singaporean man was taken to the intensive care unit (ICU) on Tuesday (Feb 16) night after suffering cardiac arrest. The Ministry of Health (MOH) stressed that his condition had nothing to do with his being given the Covid-19 vaccine earlier that day.

In a news release on Thursday (Feb 18), MOH said that it was alerted to the incident on Wednesday by Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), where the man is in ICU.

The man has a history of cancer, hypertension, and hyperlipidaemia, which is related to abnormal cholesterol levels, said MOH.

He had received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday morning.

Before receiving his jab, the man was assessed by a trained healthcare professional who found him fit for vaccination, confirmed MOH. “In line with our protocols, he was also observed on-site for about 30 minutes post-vaccination and was well.”

The hospital’s initial assessment notes, “There is no indication that the cardiac arrest was due to (the) Covid-19 vaccination,” said MOH, reported

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Tests are being done by the medical team to pinpoint the cause of the man’s cardiac arrest.

MOH also stressed that it is vital to “vaccinate and protect our seniors as they are the most vulnerable to severe disease and complications from Covid-19 infection”.

“The World Health Organisation has found no evidence that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine contributes to an increased risk of death in the elderly,” it added.

Those aged 70 and above can now book an appointment online expressing their interest in receiving their vaccines as part of a pilot launch of the mass vaccination initiative for seniors scheduled to begin on Monday (Feb 22). Other pilots were conducted late last month in Ang Mo Kio and Tanjong Pagar, where many seniors live.

In a separate incident on Jan 24, a 37-year-old woman was warded at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) because she felt dizzy after her Covid-19 vaccination and suffered weakness in her legs.

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SGH stated that no evidence has been found linking her symptoms to the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Our doctors have conducted multiple tests, and so far, there is no evidence that her signs and symptoms are related to the vaccine she received recently. We take a cautious approach and will continue to monitor her condition and conduct tests as needed,” said SGH.

Adverse effects reported

On Jan 22, the Director of Medical Services, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, announced that there had been reports of adverse events from several people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

He added that most adverse events are very mild, based on reports from the countries that have launched vaccination programmes. These side-effects include pain, swelling, redness, and muscle soreness after the vaccine was administered.

“There are some who have reported fatigue, more generalised muscle aches, and fever. Many of these symptoms, in fact, reflect the body’s immune system responding to the vaccine dose that has been injected in them,” said A/Prof Mak.

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“And there will be some that may have more serious side-effects, which include allergic reactions of a variety of different grades of severity.”

To date, about 250,000 people have received the first dose of the vaccine while 55,000 have got their second dose, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Feb 10. He announced that the entire eligible population is expected to be vaccinated by the end of the year should vaccine supplies arrive as scheduled./TISG

Read related: S’pore residents 70 years old and above can register in advance for Covid-19 vaccination before rollout on Feb 22

S’pore residents 70 years old and above can register in advance for Covid-19 vaccination before rollout on Feb 22

ByHana O