Patient seeks second opinion after suspected vaccine injury

·4-min read
Patient seeks second opinion after suspected vaccine injury
Patient seeks second opinion after suspected vaccine injury

A Covid-19 vaccine recipient is hoping for assistance in getting a second medical opinion at a private hospital after being told her fingers may need to be amputated following a suspected vaccine injury.

Single mother Christina Selvamoney, 50, said she started experiencing pain on her left hand a day after receiving her booster shot on Jan 6, and then three of her fingers started turning bluish.

According to the kindergarten teacher, she was rushed to the Kajang Hospital by her son the next day when the condition worsened and her pain became unbearable. Tests revealed that she had a tiny blood clot in a blood vessel above her heart.

“Initially, based on a CT scan done at Kajang Hospital, doctors there said that I had a blood clot in either a vein or artery on my left hand. But later a doctor at Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL), whom I was referred to said the blockage was above my heart, in the artery going into my left hand.

“Checks also revealed that there was no pulse on my ring finger and little finger. Zero. Three other fingers were okay, according to the doctor.

“During the first few days when I was admitted at HKL, several doctors told me that the fingers didn't look good and that if they turn for the worse, the fingers could shrink and they would have to amputate them,” she told Malaysiakini when met at the hospital on Thursday.

Christina said the prognosis had scared her so much as she needed her hands to make ends meet for herself and two children, who are both in college.

The patient said that she wants to get a second opinion from a private medical practitioner, but her family could not afford it with her small salary.

According to Christina, she had only gotten a new job after being unemployed for close to a year. She lost her earlier job, also as a kindergarten teacher, when the facility went out of business last year.

“If they keep saying that they want to amputate (my fingers), I cannot just sit here and (let them) amputate my finger.

“I want to get a second opinion, and it is better if I can get it early because I am afraid that if I wait too long, things could turn worse and I would be finished if I lose my fingers.”

Govt should answer

Christina claimed that doctors at both hospitals had told her that what happened was possibly caused by the vaccine.

The mother had her first and second Covid-19 vaccine shots on July 2 and 23 last year. She received Pfizer's Comirnaty vaccine for all three doses.

Saying that she was frustrated with her predicament, Christina urged the government to explain what had happened.

The teacher claimed that she had also experienced a bad reaction after her second vaccine shot when she had a seizure in the evening of the same day.

According to Christina, she didn't have any other medical condition except for diabetes. She also does not smoke or consume alcoholic beverages.

“I don’t have a history of fits in my life. Actually, I was reluctant to get the booster shot, but my daughter asked me to go.

“She said that I have to get vaccinated if I want to be able to do social activities and travel to meet my brother in Ipoh. So, I said okay.”

Malaysiakini has contacted the Health Ministry for comment. A spokesperson said that they are still investigating the case.

While Covid-19 vaccines are generally considered safe and effective, and their side effects are usually mild and temporary; severe adverse reactions do occur. Health authorities including the MOH have justified its use by stating that its benefits in protecting against Covid-19 and its complications far outweigh the risk of vaccine injuries.

The Health Ministry on Thursday revealed that it has received 24,286 reports of adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) as of Jan 15, out of over 60 million doses administered. Of these, only 42 cases are serious AEFI.

This equates to a reporting rate of 0.007 serious AEFI per 1,000 doses.

AEFI refers to any adverse event that occurs following immunisation, whether it is vaccine-related or not; in contrast to “adverse reactions” where a causal link between the vaccination and the reaction is suspected or confirmed.

On Nov 26 last year, the ministry also said it has approved eight claims totalling RM132,500 under the Covid-19 Vaccine Adverse Events Financial Aid Fund managed by the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma).

Another 78 claims were still being evaluated by various committees at the time, while seven were rejected because they were not considered severe.

Under the scheme, those who require extended hospitalisation due to AEFI are eligible to claim up to RM500,000, while those who suffer permanent disability or death are eligible for up to RM500,000.

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