Vaccine side effects: Two patients get highest financial aid of $225,000
Two patients suffering from serious side effects related to the Covid-19 vaccine have each received the highest payout of $225,000 in government financial aid so far, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
One is a 16-year-old boy who suffered a cardiac arrest after his first dose of the vaccine.
"The Tier 1 payout of $225,000 has been extended to a total of two applicants so far, including this case," an MOH spokesman told The Straits Times on Monday.
Under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (Vifap) rolled out earlier this year, a one-time payout is given to those who have experienced medically significant, serious side effects. This is to give greater peace of mind to those being vaccinated.
MOH added that a total of $782,000 has been paid out or is in the process of being paid out to 144 applicants who have met the qualifying criteria.
It did not give details on the other applicant who received the highest financial aid payout.
The Health Ministry said on Monday the 16-year-old boy would likely be discharged in the coming weeks.
The teen had collapsed at home after a gym weightlifting session on July 3, six days after receiving his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine. He had developed acute severe myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, which led to the cardiac arrest.
MOH said the myocarditis was likely a serious adverse event caused by the vaccine, which may have been aggravated by the teen's strenuous lifting of weights and high consumption of caffeine through energy drinks and supplements.
On its website, MOH said the amount of financial assistance provided through Vifap is fixed and dependent on the severity of the serious side effect.
These side effects are classified into three categories.
Those with the first type, which results in death or permanent severe disability, can receive a one-time payout of $225,000.
Those in the second category, which applies to cases who require admission to high dependency or intensive care wards, with subsequent recovery, can get $10,000.
The last one, for patients who need hospitalisation and medical intervention, with subsequent recovery, pays out $2,000.