Boy who had cardiac arrest after first Pfizer vaccine dose out of ICU

·Editorial Team
·3-min read
A nurse prepares to vaccinate healthcare workers at Gleneagles hospital, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Singapore January 19, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A nurse prepares to vaccinate healthcare workers at Gleneagles hospital, during the coronavirus disease in Singapore on 19 January, 2021. (PHOTO: Reuters(

SINGAPORE — The 16-year-old boy who suffered a cardiac arrest six days after receiving his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Cominarty COVID-19 vaccine has been transferred out of the intensive care unit (ICU), said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (15 July).

In its response to Yahoo News Singapore's media query, the ministry said that he has been transferred to a high dependency ward in the National University Hospital (NUH)'s coronary care unit for "close monitoring and observation". 

He remains stable and the MOH is still investigating the underlying cause leading to his cardiac arrest, the ministry added.

"Our priority is the well-being of the patient and he is under the close medical care of an excellent team in the (NUH) and our hopes and well wishes are with him and his family for a steady recovery," said the MOH.

The boy had been taking supplements and was lifting weights almost twice his body at the gym when he collapsed on the morning of 3 July, six days after he received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine on 27 June.

The boy was transferred on the same evening to the NUH's ICU in critical condition from the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), where he was first treated.

Recent death of boy not related to vaccine

In the same statement on Thursday, the MOH reiterated that the recent death of a 16-year-old boy, whose obituary went viral online, was not vaccine-related. 

The boy had not received any doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the ministry stressed. The obituary in question stated that the boy, who was born in 2005, had died on 10 July.

"We urge the public not to spread unsubstantiated information which may add to the family’s grief or cause public alarm," it said.

Workers' Party (WP) MP Jamus Lim on Friday morning wrote on Facebook that he spoke with the boy's mother earlier this week. 

The Sengkang GRC MP, who identified the teenager as an Anchorvale student, also mentioned that the boy "passed for non-vaccination-related reasons" but did not specify them.

Associate Professor Lim stressed for those who had received misinformation about the boy's death to refrain from sharing it "as a gesture of respect for the privacy of the family, and as a mark of honor to the boy, who was an accomplished individual that should be remembered for different things: his filial piety, his sporting prowess, and his academic successes".

As of 30 June, there have been 12 reports of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, or inflammation of the lining around the heart, occurring in individuals following their vaccinations with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines authorised for use in Singapore under the nationwide programme are based on mRNA technology.

Five of the cases occurred in adults aged 30 years old and above.

The remaining seven involved males aged below 30 years old, higher than expected for the particular age group, based on background incidence rates.

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