Covid-19 vaccination causes very few adverse reactions


New Delhi: 10 deaths related to Covid 19 vaccination have been confirmed between January and March first week, as per the Union Ministry of Health’s constituted AEFI (Adverse Event Following Immunization) committee’s report and three cases of hospitalisation and recovery have also been reported by the same committee.

All the 10 individuals who are claimed to have died after receiving the Covid-19 vaccination had been administered the Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, while out of the three hospitalisation and recovery cases, two were administered the Bharat Biotech manufactured Covaxin, while the third was given the Covishield dose.The numbers are very small and it is possible that factors other than vaccination were responsible for at least some of them. The Press Information Bureau’s release from the Ministry of Health dated 17May said around 23,000 cases of post vaccination adverse events were reported from across the country in the Co-WIN portal. But out of these total reported cases, the ministry found that only 700 cases were of a serious nature.

According to the Ministry of Health, out of these 700 reported cases, 498 cases has already been evaluated by the AEFI committee and the committee had found that 26 out of these 498 evaluated cases were reported ofthromboembolic (formation of a clot in a blood vessel that might also break loose and carried by the blood stream to plug another vessel) events, following the administration of Covishield vaccine. This, the ministry says is just 0.61 cases of thromboembolic event per million doses administered.

The PIB release also said that till 3April, 68,650,819doses of Covishield and 6,784,562 doses of Covaxin was administered to the people of India.However, the ministry’s AEFI committee is yet to officially release the figure of deaths or hospitalisation post Covid vaccination from March till May.

The immunisation programme began in India on 16January this year and the data of 176 deaths was till 27March. In the first 71 days, 6,11,13,354 doses of vaccine were administered in India, translating one death for 3.4 lakh vaccine doses administered. Whether the doses or other factors were responsible have yet to be conclusively determinedand, overall, the safety record of vaccines made in India ranks among the best in the world.

Doctors and ministry officials say that all these deaths cannot be directly correlated to the vaccination and that the AEFI committee is studying each case after which a report will be published.

AEFI studies the causes of the adverse reaction that one might face post vaccination and some of the parameters on which the AEFI committee decides includes: vaccine product related reaction, vaccine quality defect related reaction, immunization error related reaction, immunization anxiety related reaction, temporal relationship is consistent but there is insufficient definitive evidence for vaccine causing event reviewing factors result in conflicting trends of consistency and inconsistency with causal association to immunization, coincidental-underlying or emerging condition(s), or conditions caused by exposure to something other than vaccine and unclassifiable.