Responding to an open letter from a group of doctors, the Singapore government's expert committee on COVID-19 vaccination said the benefits of receiving an mRNA coronavirus vaccine continue to outweigh the risks of getting inoculated.
The United States' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had alerted that there might be a rare risk of heart inflammation in youth who had received both doses of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
Earlier this month, the Singapore committee had highlighted the possibility that the second dose of mRNA vaccines may be associated with a small risk of myocarditis and pericarditis in young men.
Myocarditis and pericarditis are inflammatory conditions that affect the heart muscles and the outer lining of the heart respectively.
The assessment after our review is that the benefits of receiving the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines continue to outweigh the risks of vaccination, said the committee.
The committee's comments yesterday were in response to an open letter circulating on social media that was attributed to a group of doctors, including one cardiologist, calling for a halt in COVID-19 vaccinations of Singapore's youth, following reports of the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention's investigations into the death of a 13-year-old boy after being vaccinated with the second dose of an mRNA vaccine.
The response also highlighted recent international reports of the association between myocarditis and the second dose of mRNA vaccines in young men.
Singapore uses Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for its national vaccination programme, which are both mRNA-based vaccines.
The expert committee said it continues to recommend that those vaccinated, particularly adolescents and younger men, avoid strenuous physical activity for one week after their second dose. They should also seek medical attention promptly if they develop chest pain, shortness of breath or abnormal heartbeats.
The committee said it will continue to monitor the data and review its recommendations as needed.