SINGAPORE, Jan 28 — Covid-19 vaccination administered in April last year was not the direct cause of a woman's heart condition that led to her death earlier this month, the National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS) and the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) said yesterday (January 27).
Their joint statement on Facebook was in response to social media posts about the death of a female heart patient nine months after her second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. The woman's age was not stated.
“We are saddened by her passing and would like to extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved family,” said the statement.
“We seek the public’s understanding to avoid speculation or spreading of rumours that may add to the family’s grief during this difficult time.”
They said that the case was referred to the coroner and investigations showed that the cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy, a form of disease of the heart muscle.
While the statement did not name the woman, some social media users have linked the death of football photographer Christina Rodrigues Seah to the Covid-19 vaccine. TODAY understands the hospitals' statements refers to Seah and that she was 39.
In a widely shared screenshot of a post by Facebook user Neubronner Jeremy, who identified himself as her boyfriend, he wrote that Seah started getting heart palpitations sometime after she got her second jab mid-last year.
“It gone (sic) downhill from there,” he wrote.
The post was accompanied by a picture of a letter purporting to be from a doctor who wrote that Seah is suspected to have had Covid-19 vaccine side effects to the heart. The letter advises using an alternative vaccine for the booster shot.
Seah died on January 12 at home.
Laying out a timeline of events, NHCS and NUHCS said that the woman had completed her first two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine last April and did not report feeling unwell or any allergic reaction.
She was admitted to NUHCS in July 2021 to manage a heart condition.
The statement said: “At the time, Covid-19 vaccination was not assessed to be a direct cause of her heart failure. Other causal factors such as genetic causes were considered, taking into account her family history.”
Later in September, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan was taken of her heart and results suggested idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy as the underlying condition.
In December, she sought a second opinion and treatment at NHCS. While hospitalised there, the medical team discussed using “various device implantation options” to manage her heart condition with her and her family.
A follow-up appointment was scheduled in January this year as she needed time to consider the options, but she died a day before that date.
After Seah’s death, many from the local football scene wrote condolence messages online and shared their memories of her being a long-time supporter of the Albirex Niigata Football Club.
Said the AIA Singapore Premier League on Facebook: “She never failed to brighten up the stadium with her love and contribution for local football.” ― TODAY