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Singapore — There have been reports of adverse events from several people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Singapore, according to the Director of Medical Services, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, on Friday (Jan 22) .

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently the only approved Covid-19 vaccine in Singapore.

According to straitstimes.com, A/Prof Mak disclosed during a virtual press conference held by the Multi-Ministry Task Force on Covid-19 that the reports are being compiled for submission to the Covid-19 vaccination expert panel for review and recommendations.

“As soon as we’re able to get those recommendations out and we have organised and categorised these adverse events, we will be then able to publicise and inform you what those adverse events are,” said A/Prof Mak. However, he did not disclose the number of such reports received.

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He added that most adverse events are very mild, based on the countries that have launched their vaccination programmes. These side-effects include pain, swelling, redness, and muscle soreness after the vaccine was administered.

“There are some who have reported fatigue, more generalised muscle aches, and fever. Many of these symptoms, in fact, reflect the body’s immune system responding to the vaccine dose that has been injected in them,” said A/Prof Mak.

“And there will be some that may have more serious side-effects, which include allergic reactions of a variety of different grades of severity.”

According to straitstimes.com, more than 60,000 individuals have received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine in Singapore. These include frontline workers in the healthcare industry, those working in nursing homes and providing essential services.

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The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that 39 staff at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases had received their second dose of the vaccine. They received the first dose on Dec 30 and completed the required 21 days interval between doses.

The two doses complete the full vaccination regimen, meaning in two weeks, the staff members would have built up maximum protection from the virus, noted MOH.

Singapore’s Process Of Tracking Adverse Events

A/Prof Mak outlined the process of tracking adverse events such as “going through the institutions which perform the vaccinations, as well as other doctors who may see patients who have had the vaccination, and have had any adverse effects”.

The reports are sent to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for further review of the severity of the adverse events.

The reports are then sent to the MOH, where experts determine if the authorities need to alter the list of precautions to be taken for the vaccination exercise, said A/Prof Mak. /TISG

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