facebookCOVID-19 Vaccine: What Are the Side Effects and How Much Payout Will I Receive?
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COVID-19 Vaccine: What Are the Side Effects and How Much Payout Will I Receive?

profileXue Miao
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On 21 Dec 2020, Singapore was the first nation in Asia to receive the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

Since then, we’ve watched videos of our favourite PM Lee and Mdm President getting vaccinated by healthcare professionals.

Source: Channel News Asia

Under Singapore’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, we are now able to receive our jabs to protect ourselves against COVID-19.

While this is a huge step forward in our battle against this dangerous disease, there has also been a rising concern about the side effects that this vaccine might bring.

Especially after the news of individuals encountering severe allergic reactions after receiving the vaccination.

In this article, we explore the possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, government schemes and free insurance coverage that is available to alleviate any financial worries.

TL;DR: COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects: What Are the Symptoms, How Much Payout Will I Receive and Free Insurance Coverage Available

COVID-19 Vaccination in Singapore: All You Need To Know
Type of Vaccine Used in Singapore- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
- Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Vaccine CostFree for Singaporeans and long-term residents in Singapore
Possible Side EffectsCommon:
- Pain, redness, swelling at the injection site
- Fever, chills
- Headache, muscle pain, joint pain
- Tiredness
- Lymph node swelling at neck or arms
Severe:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of face, throat, eyes or lips
- Fast heartbeat
- Dizziness and weakness
- Bad rash
Financial Assistance by GovernmentHospitalisation costs due to adverse effects from the COVID-19 vaccination covered by:
- MediShield Life
- Integrated Shield Plans
Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (VIFAP):
- One-time payout of $2,000 for inpatient hospitalisation and medical intervention, and later recovers
- One-time payout of up to $10,000 for severe medical cases
- $225,000 for permanent severe disability or death
Free COVID-19 Vaccine InsuranceAIA: Daily Hospital Income Benefit of $500 per day (up to 2 days)
Aviva: Coverage for medical bills including hospitalisation or inpatient treatment
AXA: Reimbursement of medical expenses such as hospitalisation and outpatient expenses
DBS x Chubb:
- Daily Hospital Cash Benefit: $100 per day (Up to 14 days)
- ICU Hospital Cash Benefit: $1,000 (Lump sum)
- Bereavement Assist Benefit: $10,000 (Lump sum)
FWD: $5,000 lump sum payout
Great Eastern: Daily Hospital Cash Benefit of $300 per day, for a maximum of 7 consecutive days
Prudential: Daily hospital cash of $100 per day, subject to a maximum of 14 days for each vaccination dosage
Raffles Health Insurance: Reimbursement of hospitalisation expenses of up to $5,000
Who Should Not Receive the Vaccination Yet- Pregnant women
- Children below 16 years of age
- Persons with a severely compromised immune system
- Persons with a history of severe allergic reactions

What Are Some Possible Side Effects of the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Similar to other vaccines, there is a possibility of suffering from side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine.

Here are some commonly seen side effects would include:

Side Effects How to Manage
Pain, redness, swelling at the injection site Paracetamol 1 to 2 tablets every 6 hours as needed
Fever, chills
Headache, muscle pain, joint pain
Tiredness Rest
Lymph node swelling at neck or arms Usually gets better by itself in a week or so

Source: Ministry of Health

Though rarely encountered, this vaccine can cause a severe allergic reaction.

Symptoms can include:

Side Effects from Severe Allergic Reaction
Difficulty breathing
Swelling of face, throat, eyes or lips
Fast heartbeat
Dizziness and weakness
Bad rash

If that happens, do seek medical attention immediately by calling 995 or go to the nearest A&E.

After vaccination, it is advised for individuals to remain at the clinic for 30 minutes for observation.

This is to allow any possible complications to be detected and treated in a timely manner by healthcare professionals.

Financial Aid By Government: Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (VIFAP)

A financial assistance programme has been rolled out to offer payouts to individuals who are suffering from serious side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine.

Known as the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (VIFAP), this programme will offer payouts to those who require a higher level of medical care, or suffer permanent severe disability or died as a result of the vaccination.

The amount of payout is as follows:

ConditionPayout Amount
- Inpatient hospitalisation and medical intervention requiredOne-time payout of $2,000
- Experienced medically significant serious side effects

- Hospitalised and require care in the high-dependency or intensive care unit

- Subsequently recovered
One-time payout of $10,000
- Permanent severe disability

- Death
One-time payout of $225,000

How To Qualify for the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (VIFAP)

To qualify for this financial assistance programme, the recipient must:

  • Be a Singapore Citizen, permanent resident or long-term pass holder who took the vaccine in Singapore
  • Experienced a serious side effect that is potentially life-threatening or fatal, and had required inpatient hospitalisation, or
  • Caused persistent incapacity or disability

The side effects have to be assessed by a doctor associated with the individual’s vaccination.

The MOH has also appointed an independent clinical panel to assess applications for this programme, as the assessment of the effects by different doctors might differ.

Medishield Life and Integrated Shield Plans Coverage for COVID-19 complications

Source: Ministry of Health (MOH)

To ensure that all individuals can have peace of mind while getting vaccinated, hospitalisation costs due to adverse effects from the COVID-19 vaccination will also be covered by MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plans.

This applies to all seven insurers who are offering Integrated Shield Plans.

The insurers include NTUC Income, AIA, Great Eastern, Aviva, Prudential, AXA and Raffles Health.

This coverage will be provided until 31 Dec 2021, with a possible extension depending on the development of the situation.

These subsidies can be concurrently received by those under the VIFAP.

How Safe Is the COVID-19 Vaccine? Will I Get Side Effects From It?

 

Singapore has been using the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which is a Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine.

This vaccine type has been assessed by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and it meets safety and efficacy standards.

This includes a review by the Expert Committee, who considered four key criteria – vaccine safety, vaccine efficacy, vaccine tolerability, and data adequacy of clinical trials.

In which the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated a high vaccine efficacy of 95%, congruent with the high standards set for other types of registered vaccines.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has also been rolled out since mid-March 2021, and is the second vaccine to be authorised for pandemic use by HSA.

As with other types of vaccination, there are common side effects such as pain, redness and swelling at the injection area.

While serious side effects are rare, there have been three reported cases of anaphylaxis (rapid onset of severe allergic reactions) in Singapore.

The incidence rate of anaphylaxis locally is currently about 2.7 per 100,000 doses administered.

Nevertheless, precautionary measures have been put in place to ensure a timely response, including pre-vaccination screening and post-vaccination observation.

Further review is still being conducted for areas such as longer-term rare adverse effects.

Should I Still Take the COVID-19 Vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccination will be free for Singaporeans and long-term residents in Singapore and can be taken on a voluntary basis.

Currently, the benefits of getting vaccinated to protect against COVID-19 far outweighs the risks of adverse side effects that are associated with this vaccination.

Therefore, getting the vaccination is still highly recommended.

However, vaccine safety and efficacy for these specific sub-groups are still being studied:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children below 16 years of age
  • Persons with a severely compromised immune system
  • Persons with a history of severe allergic reactions

Therefore, for all others, it is still advised to receive the vaccination to allow a high level of popular coverage as the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 disease will be greatly reduced.

By doing so, this would also indirectly reduce the risk among these people who are currently unable to receive the vaccination.

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