India reviewing 700 serious post-vaccine adverse events

5 days ago 29
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NEW DELHI: India is reviewing around 700 ‘severe and serious’ adverse events reported from across the country after Covid vaccination in the light of global concerns over rare or unusual type of blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine, officials said.
“We are monitoring the cases closely and relooking at some of the unusual technical parameters in the wake of the reports by the European regulator and the report by WHO raising concerns,” a senior official, member of the national committee on adverse events following immunisation (AEFI), said.
In India, experts are looking at adverse events from both Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
The result of the analysis is likely to be finalised by the end of this week.
The official said the review is significant as globally regulators are waiting for India’s data because of the sheer number of doses of Covid vaccine administered here. “Besides, we also have a large-scale AEFI monitoring and assessment mechanism already in place for the universal child immunisation programme,” he added.
On Wednesday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirmed that the cases of blood clots with low blood platelets were associated with the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but should still be listed as very rare side effects.
The World Health Organisation also said that a causal link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the rare occurrence of blood clots with low platelets is “considered plausible but not confirmed”.
In an interim statement, WHO’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety said that the events under assessment are very rare, with low numbers reported among the almost 200 million individuals who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine around the world. However, specialised studies are needed to fully understand the potential link.
Times View: It would have been more prudent if such a step was taken earlier. Attributing deaths to comorbidities without proper investigation doesn’t improve public trust; rather it increases vaccine hesitancy. This is a welcome step towards transparency.

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