380,000 vaccinated so far, no serious adverse events, says health ministry

An Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) is any unexpected medical occurrence which follows immunisation
Three days into the Covid-19 vaccination drive, almost 400,000 healthcare workers have received the shot in 7,700 sessions across the country, according to the health ministry. Even as the numbers have failed to match the government expectation, some 580 adverse events and two deaths reported in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka kept the authorities busy all of Monday, trying to give out an assurance that the vaccines were safe.              

For the death of a 52-year-old hospital staff from Moradabad, the vaccine connection was ruled out after a post-mortem. He died a day after receiving the Covishield vaccine. In the second case of a 43-year-old man from Bellary dying after getting vaccinated, post-mortem findings are yet to be out. The vaccine he took has not been revealed. Doctors found pockets of pus and an enlarged heart in the post mortem, which led to a cardiopulmonary disease and caused the death of the Moradabad health worker. In the second case, the cause of death was found to be anterior wall infarction with cardiopulmonary failure. 

The exact details will be established after a post mortem study is done.

“He was brought dead to the hospital,” the chief medical officer at Moradabad government hospital said.

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, chairman & executive director, Narayana Health, being adminstered a dose of Covid vaccine, in Bengaluru, on Monday | Photo: PTI
An Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) could be any unexpected medical occurrence after vaccination. It may or may not be related to the vaccine or vaccination process.

The turnout of healthcare workers has been lower than expected over fears linked to the safety of vaccines. The data as of 5 pm showed that Karnataka had vaccinated maximum number of beneficiaries at 36,888, followed by Odisha at 22,579.

Of the seven cases of hospitalization, two were discharged while five were kept under observation. One person fainting was being monitored at Max Hospital in Delhi. The reported case of AEFI in Uttarakhand is stable and under observation at AIIMS, Rishikesh.  The rest were under observation in various hospitals in Chhattisgarh and Karnataka.

The health ministry has stated that no serious adverse event has occurred yet due to the vaccine. 

Most states have picked four days in a week to hold Covid vaccine sessions.

India plans to vaccinate 30 million healthcare and frontline workers initially. Around 300 million — including senior citizens with comorbidities — are expected to be vaccinated by the next phase.

In the first lot, Serum Institute of India has supplied 11 million doses of Covishield and another 45 million doses are likely to be taken by the government soon. Bharat Biotech has supplied lower number of doses of Covaxin, which got the regulator's approval under the third phase clinical trial.    

Besides supply side issues, the health ministry is also trying to fix the problems related to the CO-Win software, which is being used to track the vaccine delivery. Many states have raised concern that the digital platform was slow, causing delay in uploading beneficiary lists. As a result, states have been managing the data, contacting beneficiaries manually and later uploading the data online.

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