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SINGAPORE: The death of a 28-year-old man 21 days after his COVID-19 vaccination has been ruled a medical misadventure, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (Feb 17).

It is the first death related to COVID-19 vaccination locally, MOH said in a press release.

The Bangladeshi national received his first dose of the Moderna/Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine on Jun 18, 2021, and died on Jul 9 after collapsing at his workplace earlier that day.

The State Coroner on Wednesday certified the man’s cause of death as myocarditis, said MOH. 

The Health Ministry added that the State Coroner also found that “on the balance of probabilities, it was likely to be related to COVID-19 vaccination”. 

Under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme provided by MOH, a one-time financial assistance of S$225,000 will be extended to his family. 

MOH said it is working with the Ministry of Manpower to extend assistance to his family and facilitate their application.

“To date, more than 17 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Singapore through the National Vaccination Programme,” said the ministry.

According to the latest vaccine safety update by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), MOH said the incidence of myocarditis remains rare with reporting rates of 0.1 per 100,000 doses (or 0.0001 per cent) for the bivalent vaccines; and 1.1 per 100,000 doses (or 0.0011 per cent) for the primary vaccination series of the monovalent vaccines.

As a precautionary measure, since September 2021, vaccinated people are advised to avoid strenuous physical activity or exercise for two weeks after vaccination to mitigate the potential risk of myocarditis. 

“People with chest discomfort, abnormal heartbeats or any other symptoms that arise after vaccination, should seek medical attention promptly,” said MOH.

“This will enable early diagnosis and appropriate medical management of any rare severe adverse events that may occur after vaccination.”

MOH, the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination and HSA will continue to monitor vaccine-related serious adverse events closely, said the ministry.