SINGAPORE, Jan 29– More than 113,000 individuals in Singapore have received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine while over 50 individuals have received their second dose and completed the full vaccination regimen, as of Jan 27.
Among the more than 113,000 individuals who have received the vaccine, 432 adverse events were reported including three cases of anaphylaxis – rapid onset of severe allergic reactions.
“Anaphylaxis is a known but rare side effect of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine,” said Director of Medical Services at the republic’s Ministry of Health, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, in a statement.
As with all vaccines, Mak said, there will always be a small proportion of susceptible persons who experience severe allergic reactions upon vaccination.
“We have put in place precautionary measures such as pre-vaccination screening and post-vaccination observation, to ensure that our vaccination programme can be carried out safely.
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“All three cases of anaphylaxis were promptly treated and are well,” he said.
According to the statement, the individuals, in their 20s and 30s, developed multiple symptoms such as rash, breathlessness, lip swelling, throat tightness and giddiness.
All three individuals had a history of allergies, including allergic rhinitis and food allergy such as to shellfish, but none had a history of anaphylaxis which would have precluded them from receiving the vaccine, it said.
Meanwhile, most of those other reports were for regular symptoms such as injection site pain and swelling, fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, giddiness, nausea and allergic reactions – itch, rash, swelling of eyes or lip.
While it expects few to need this, MOH said it will nevertheless introduce a vaccine injury financial assistance programme for COVID-19 vaccination (VIFAP) to provide financial assistance for affected persons in the rare event of serious side effects that are assessed to be related to COVID-19 vaccines administered in Singapore.