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Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) formally recognized the country’s first fatality associated with the COVID-19 vaccines — a 28-year-old Bangladeshi man, known only as Rajib, who was previously healthy, but who soon after getting vaccinated experienced a “medical misadventure” and died in 2021.
In a Feb. 17 announcement, the MOH stated:
“The State Coroner has ruled on 15 February 2023 that the death of a 28-year-old Bangladeshi male, who passed away 21 days after COVID-19 vaccination, was a medical misadventure.
“The cause of death was certified as myocarditis. The State Coroner also found that on the balance of probabilities, it was likely to be related to COVID-19 vaccination.”
According to the MOH, Rajib received the first dose of the Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine on June 18, 2021. On July 9, 2021, he collapsed at work and died later that day.
Previously healthy victim lost consciousness, never recovered
Channel News Asia (CNA) obtained a copy of the coroner’s report, which shed further light on Rajib’s death and the prior condition of his health.
According to CNA, the coroner’s report indicated that Rajib “had no known chronic illness and had not reported sick at work before.” He had “recovered fully” from a COVID-19 infection one year earlier.
Rajib, who was employed at Sunlight Engineering, had just completed his workday and was climbing up a ladder to emerge onto the main deck of the ship where he was working at Singapore’s Sembcorp Shipyard.
According to CNA:
“When Mr Rajib had ascended one or two rungs, he suddenly fell backwards onto the metal floor of the tank.
“He was unconscious and his safety helmet had fallen off.
“Mr Rajib was later extricated from the tank by a rescue team and taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, but could not be revived. He was pronounced dead that same night.”
An autopsy by associate professor Teo Eng Swee of the Singaporean Health Sciences Authority’s Forensic Medicine Division revealed that Rajib’s internal organs were “mostly normal” — except for his heart, where myocarditis was detected via microscopic examination.
Based on the “balance of probabilities,” Teo said, Rajib’s COVID-19 vaccination likely caused his death, even though this “could not be established objectively.” Long COVID from his prior infection was all but ruled out as the cause by State Coroner Adam Nakhoda.
CNA reported that, according to Teo:
“Myocarditis could develop as a result of COVID-19 infection itself, citing a published paper that said that a person with a COVID-19 infection had an approximately 16 times higher risk of developing myocarditis compared with a person who did not have a COVID-19 infection.”
Under the MOH’s Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme for COVID-19 Vaccination, a one-time cash payment of $225,000 Singapore dollars ($168,000 USD) will be made to his family, Bloomberg reported.
According to the program’s guidelines:
“The Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme for COVID-19 Vaccination (VIFAP) provides one-time goodwill financial assistance to persons who received the COVID-19 vaccines under the NVP [National Vaccination Programme] and in accordance with the recommendations of the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination, and who experienced serious side effects that are assessed to be related to the COVID-19 vaccines administered in Singapore.
“To qualify for the VIFAP, individuals must be a Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident or long-term pass holder who has received the COVID-19 vaccination under the NVP, and experienced a serious side effect that required inpatient hospitalisation, or caused permanent severe disability, or was fatal. The serious side effect must be assessed by a doctor to be related to the individual’s COVID-19 vaccination. COVID-19 vaccinations received under the Private Vaccination Programme are not eligible for the VIFAP.”
Singapore’s MOH said it “is working with the Ministry of Manpower to extend assistance to [the deceased’s] family and facilitate their application.”
Drawing on MOH data, Bloomberg reported that more than 17 million COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in Singapore, and that the incidence of myocarditis has been “rare,” at a rate of 1.1 per 100,000 doses for the primary series and 0.1 per 100,000 doses for the bivalent vaccines.
Singapore’s MOH issued a health warning to individuals who recently received a COVID-19 vaccine, specifically addressing the risk of myocarditis:
“As a precautionary measure, since September 2021, vaccinated persons are advised to avoid strenuous physical activity or exercise for two weeks after vaccination to mitigate the potential risk of myocarditis.
“Persons with chest discomfort, abnormal heartbeats or any other symptoms that arise after vaccination, should seek medical attention promptly. This will enable early diagnosis and appropriate medical management of any rare severe adverse events that may occur after vaccination.”
Similarly, Nakhoda recommended employers not assign strenuous tasks to recently vaccinated employees. According to CNA:
“The coroner urged employers, especially of workers involved in strenuous labour activity, that workers who have just received a COVID-19 vaccine should not carry out any strenuous activity for the period of time that medical professionals have deemed necessary.”
Reports of myocarditis post-COVID vaccination continue to increase
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle that can lead to cardiac arrhythmia and death. It can cause permanent damage to heart muscle.
According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, myocarditis can result from infections, but “more commonly the myocarditis is a result of the body’s immune reaction to the initial heart damage.”
Data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) as of Feb. 10 lists 16,529 cases of myocarditis following the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine, with incidents recorded for individuals as young as 6 months to 80+ years of age. There were 383 reports of deaths from myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination.
Cases involving the COVID-19 bivalent boosters are listed separately in VAERS, and as of Feb. 10, 29 reports of myocarditis following the administration of the booster are recorded in VAERS.
Studies, health authorities identify link between COVID shots and myocarditis
A number of recent studies link COVID-19 vaccines and the onset of myocarditis in the vaccinated.
As reported by The Defender on Jan. 6, a peer-reviewed analysis of studies on COVID-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis in young males showed many studies hid an important safety signal by not providing “adequate stratification.”
Put differently, multiple studies lumped together all categories — such as age, sex, dosage, and vaccine manufacturer — data from particular risk groups, such as adolescent boys who have been shown to be at high risk of developing myocarditis as a result of COVID-19 vaccination, is obscured.
On Nov. 18, 2022, The Defender reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered Pfizer and Moderna to conduct several post-marketing safety studies due to the “known serious risks of myocarditis and pericarditis” and the “unexpected serious risk of subclinical myocarditis.”
As a result, Moderna launched two trials, the most recent in September 2022, while Pfizer told NBC News it also planned to start at least one of its trials, encompassing up to 500 individuals age 20 and younger.
Participants in these trials will include people who were previously hospitalized with vaccine-related myocarditis and those who were more recently diagnosed.
“Aldana-Bitar et al., described the excursion of cardiac troponin as about four days with COVID-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis which is oddly about the same duration as an ischemic myocardial infarction due to blocked coronary arteries.
“Mansanguan et al. found the rate of heart injury was 2.3% on the second injection of Pfizer in children 13-18 years old. … Two children were hospitalized with myocarditis in this 301-person study.
“Le Pessec et al., in a presentation at the European Society of Cardiology, revealed 2.8% of healthcare workers (n=777) had elevated troponin by day 3 after the third mRNA injection.”
A Japanese study published in October 2022 found:
“People of all ages are at higher risk of death from heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccination compared with the typical occurrence of myocarditis death.
“Using the disclosed data by the Japanese government, we observed increased myocarditis mortality rate ratio in the SARS-CoV-2 vaccinated population compared with general population during three years pre-COVID-19 pandemic era, especially in young adults.”
A study published in August 2022 found that 100 people in England died of myocarditis within 28 days of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Specifically, 18% of teens in the study had an abnormal electrocardiogram after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and 3.5% of males developed myopericarditis or subclinical myocarditis.