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MOH calls out doctors’ claims that Covid-19 vaccination needs to stop for S’pore youth

MOH explained that the news report did not state death from heart failure, as alleged by the group of doctors.

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Singapore — The Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination and a senior infectious diseases specialist from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) has called out the claims by a group of doctors arguing for a suspension of Covid-19 vaccination of Singapore’s youth.

The Ministry of Health (MOH), in a press release on Monday (Jun 28), announced that they had been made aware of an open letter on social media by a group of five doctors, including a cardiologist requesting for a halt in vaccination among the youth.

The group cited reports from the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) investigations highlighting the death of a 13-year-old male after being vaccinated with the second dose of an mRNA vaccine.

In the open letter, the group also claimed that the 13-year-old male from the US had died from heart failure, noting recent international reports linking myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, on the second dose of the mRNA vaccines in young men.

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MOH explained that the news report did not state death from heart failure, as alleged by the group of doctors. It added that the matter is still under investigation by the US authorities.

“The writers also chose to highlight only one of the presentations to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the CDC,” said MOH.

Meanwhile, they failed to mention the point stated in the report that “available data indicate that patients generally recover from symptoms and do well”.

“They also failed to mention that subsequent discussions at the same meeting went on to support the vaccination of adolescents because the benefits outweighed the risks,” said MOH.

“According to a meta-analysis of 129 studies from 31 countries involving 10,251 children, 22.9 per cent of children diagnosed with Covid-19 have been admitted to the intensive care unit, while 3.6 per cent have died,” said the committee as posted on the MOH’s press release.

It also added that out of the approximately four million children in the US alone that have been infected with the virus since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been around 380 reported cases of deaths in the age group of 12 to 17 years, and Covid-19 in the young can result in Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and other prolonged disability.

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MOH explained that in the face of a more transmissible Delta variant associated with more severe Covid-19, “it is imperative that we protect our children from severe Covid-19 and its complications.”

This means full vaccination of two doses, MOH added, noting that data on the cases of myocarditis following the vaccinations are rare.

MOH understands the anxiety of parents regarding their children getting vaccinated; hence the decision is voluntary in Singapore, “even as it is strongly encouraged.”

“The Expert Committee continues to recommend the use of the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines for young men. However, as a precaution, vaccinated persons, in particular adolescents and younger men should avoid strenuous physical activity for one week after their second dose. During this time, they should seek medical attention promptly if they develop chest pain, shortness of breath or abnormal heartbeats”, said MOH. /TISG

Read related: Pfizer, Moderna Covid-19 vaccines linked to rare heart inflammation risk, FDA says

Pfizer, Moderna Covid-19 vaccines linked to rare heart inflammation risk, FDA says

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