SINGAPORE: There have been four reports of non-serious adverse events in the two weeks following the rollout of the Nuvaxovid COVID-19 vaccine in Singapore, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Monday (Jun 27).
These include rash, vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels), dizziness and chest pain.
“These are largely consistent with what was reported in the clinical studies and are known adverse effects associated with vaccines,” HSA said.
Singapore began administering the Nuvaxovid vaccine to the public on May 18 and 2,792 doses have been administered as of May 31, said HSA in a safety update.
This is the 12th such update, covering the period since the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines on Dec 30, 2020 to May 31, 2022.
An adverse event is classified as serious when the event results in, among others, hospitalisation, a life-threatening illness or death.
HSA said it has so far not received any reports of myocarditis, an inflammatory condition of the heart, though ongoing global clinical trials of Nuvaxovid have reported a “small number” of cases.
While the risk of myocarditis cannot be excluded, the benefits of the Nuvaxovid vaccine continue to outweigh the risks in the Singapore context, said the authority.
HSA granted the Nuvaxovid vaccine interim authorisation in February as part of the national vaccination programme. It is available to those who have not taken their primary doses or booster shots.
RARE CASES OF APPENDICITIS LINKED TO COVID-19 VACCINES
In this latest report, HSA also provided updates on mRNA vaccines.
Twenty-one cases of appendicitis following the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine have been reported in Singapore, HSA said.
This is after more than 11 million doses of the vaccine have been administered here.
Appendicitis can be caused by various factors such as infections in the digestive tract or blockage of the opening of the appendix, causing it to become sore and swollen.
HSA said rare cases of appendicitis following COVID-19 vaccination have been reported globally.
In Singapore, HSA found “a small increased incidence” of appendicitis occurring within 21 days after the primary vaccination series – and mainly in those aged 12 to 17.
“No increased incidence of appendicitis has been observed with the booster dose of the vaccine,” HSA said.
It added that all 21 cases were hospitalised, but have since been discharged.
HSA said it had nothing new to report in terms of adverse events of interest – anaphylaxis, myocarditis, pericarditis and cerebral venous thrombosis – following the use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Incidence rates have stabilised, HSA said.
The rates of adverse events and serious adverse events for the Sinovac-CoronaVac and Sinopharm vaccines have also remained stable, with no new safety updates at this time, HSA said.