72-year-old woman died of heart disease; no indications of allergic reaction to COVID-19 vaccine: MOH
SINGAPORE: A 72-year-old woman who died a day after receiving her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine had died due to ischaemic heart disease, with the autopsy showing no indications of an allergic reaction to the vaccine.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) shared this information on Saturday (Jun 19) in response to media queries on the woman's death.
The ministry said it was alerted to the death of the Singaporean woman by Sengkang General Hospital on Jun 4. She had been treated at the hospital's emergency medicine department.
The woman received her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Jun 3.
"She had been assessed by trained healthcare personnel to be suitable for COVID-19 vaccination prior to vaccination. In line with our protocols, she was also observed on-site for about 30 minutes post-vaccination and was well," said MOH.
The case was referred to the coroner, who conducted an autopsy and determined that the cause of death was ischaemic heart disease, a term given to heart problems caused by narrowed heart arteries, said the ministry.
"The autopsy found long-standing blockage of the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart muscles, which could not be caused by vaccination. There was also no indications of an allergic reaction to the vaccines.
"The coroner is legally separate from and independent of the Ministry of Health, and determines the definitive cause of death," said MOH.
In a safety update issued by the Health Sciences Authority covering the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the authority said: "A greater frequency of heart attacks and strokes can occur naturally within our population, regardless of whether people are vaccinated or not."
"Due to the large numbers of people being vaccinated, it expected that, by coincidence, some individuals may experience other medical events such as heart attacks and strokes in the days or weeks after vaccination, which may not be related to the vaccination," HSA added.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect a revised reply from MOH, as well as additional information from HSA's safety update.