S'pore boy, 16, who had cardiac arrest after Covid-19 vaccine jab, took supplements but no clear link found

Case still under investigation.

Belmont Lay | July 07, 2021, 04:57 PM

The 16-year-old boy who suffered a cardiac arrest six days after getting his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, was taking supplements and lifting weights almost twice his body weight.

This new detail regarding the consumption of supplements was publicly revealed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) director of medical services and associate professor Kenneth Mak on July 7.

However, he did not mention what sort of supplements or the quantity the boy took.

Mak's reply was in response to a media question during a virtual doorstop interview involving the Covid-19 multi-ministry task force.

One query posed by the media was for an update on the boy's condition.

Cause remains under investigation

Mak said the cause of the boy's cardiac arrest remains under investigation, including any link to the vaccine.

He added that specialists in the National University Hospital (NUH) are keeping their "eyes open to all various possibilities".

The boy is currently in critical condition at the hospital's intensive care unit.

Mak said he understood that doctors have "not gotten further information from some of the tests that they are doing", which includes "analysing the supplements to determine whether this might be contributory to the boy's unfortunate cardiac arrest".

Mak added: "At this point in time, our hearts are with the boy. But we continue to trust that the doctors will provide good and appropriate care to look after him."

Updated recommendation for vaccinated individuals

Following a review of local and overseas data, the expert committee on Covid-19 vaccinations and the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) recommended on July 5 that people should avoid strenuous physical activity after receiving either of their mRNA Covid-19 vaccination doses.

The recommendation is targeted at adolescents and younger men aged 30 years old and below, calling on them to avoid exercise or strenuous physical activity for a week after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.

Activities such as swimming, cycling, jogging, as well as ball and racket games, should be avoided in the first week following the jab.

An earlier advisory issued on June 11 had only recommended for vaccinated individuals to avoid strenuous physical activity for one week after their first jab.

Mak said at the doorstop that the expert committee had taken into account HSA's data review -- before the boy's incident -- that was completed recently.

"At that time, (HSA) had already determined that there was an increasing signal of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscles affecting the heart function) amongst younger people," he said.

"They have noticed that for the first time, compared to the earlier data, some of these cases of myocarditis are also occurring after the first vaccination."

Mak added that after looking at the data locally and overseas, the expert committee and HSA are still of the opinion that it is beneficial for vaccination to be offered to all who are eligible, taking into account the risks.

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