1. The Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination (EC19V) has been made aware of an open letter on social media attributed to group of doctors, including one cardiologist, calling for a halt in the COVID-19 vaccination of our youths, given reports of the US Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) investigations into the death of a 13-year-old male after being vaccinated with the second dose of an mRNA vaccine. The social media post indicated that the 13-year-old male from the US had died from heart failure, although no cause of death has been made public and the case is currently under investigation by the US authorities. The post also highlighted the recent international reports of the association between myocarditis and dose 2 of the mRNA vaccines in young men.
2. The use of safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccines in Singapore is of paramount concern and the Expert Committee is closely monitoring local and international data to ensure its recommendations are up to date. The Expert Committee had on 11 June 2021 highlighted the possibility of a small risk of myocarditis and pericarditis associated with the second dose of the mRNA vaccines, and the assessment after our review is that the benefits of receiving the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines continue to outweigh the risks of vaccination. Data on myocarditis and pericarditis has not changed since, and the Expert Committee’s assessment remains the same.
3. The data reported from the US indicates that the cases of myocarditis following mRNA vaccinations are rare. In addition, among the small number of cases, almost all had resolved with minimal medical intervention. Professional medical associations in the US, including the American College of Paediatrics and the American Heart Association in the US have continued to strongly encourage vaccination in everyone aged 12 years and older.
4. The Expert Committee continues to recommend the use of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for young men. However, as a precaution, we also recommend that 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. The Expert Committee notes that the Ministry of Health had also issued guidance to all doctors to properly advise patients on the care they receive.
5. EC19V will continue to monitor the local and international data and will continue to review its recommendations as needed.
EXPERT COMMITTEE ON COVID-19 VACCINATION
27 JUNE 2021