The Ministry of Health (MOH) has responded to a Facebook post on an elderly woman's death following her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination in Singapore.
Since being uploaded by the woman's daughter, Charlene Yong, on July 31, the post has gathered over 2,500 shares.
According to Yong, her 64-year-old mother had collapsed eight hours after taking the vaccine at about 10am, on a day in late July.
She pointed out the uncertainties surrounding her mother's death:
"My mother leads an active life and is mostly healthy except for controlled hypertension and mild diabetes. What could have happened during the course of the vaccination that robbed her of her life?
Or was it just pure coincidence that she has to return to Jesus on the day where she received her first dose of vaccination?"
The daughter said that she "used to be" an advocate for the Covid-19 vaccination, and had even debunked speculations that the vaccine was unsafe and ill-researched.
She added that the family needed closure, beyond the cause of "hypertensive and coronary artery disease" listed on the coroner's report.
She also hopes that what they went through would help others to be more aware of any potential medical complications after receiving the vaccination, when it comes to the elderly.
We will continue to assist the family: MOH
In response to queries from Mothership, MOH said that it was alerted to the woman's death by Ng Teng Fong General Hospital on the evening of July 25.
The ministry revealed that the woman had received her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine on the same day, after being assessed to be suitable for it.
She remained well during the 30-minute observation period, post-vaccination.
According to MOH, the certified cause of death is hypertensive heart disease and coronary artery disease, based on the autopsy findings. This is consistent with the patient’s history of heart disease, diabetes, hyperlipidaemia (high levels of lipids in the blood) and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Going by local and overseas data, there has not been any increase in the number of heart attacks after vaccination, the ministry added.
"We see about 1,000 strokes and heart attacks every month, handled by our public hospitals, and as we vaccinate in large numbers, coincidental strokes and heart attacks after vaccination will occur."
MOH said that they continue to assist the family and through the public healthcare system.
Top image via Mufid Majnun/Unsplash