With the vaccine being distributed in India frontline health workers, over 2 lakh people have been inoculated till day 3. Though a vaccine for Covid-19 means good news, there have already been multiple reports of people experiencing side effects.
According to the Health Ministry, there have been 580 cases with side effects reported on 16th and 17th January, with seven hospitalized and two pronounced dead. The government said that, for the 52-year-old ward boy, who died in UP after receiving the vaccine, the death is not linked to the vaccination as he died due to cardiopulmonary disease as revealed by the post – mortem. The government plans to do a post – mortem in the second case of the 43-year-old man from Karnataka to determine the reason for his death.
On Day 1 of the vaccination, 52 cases of AEFI (Adverse Events Following Immunisation) were reported from Delhi, but only one was severe. On Day 1, Maharashtra reported 14 cases of side effects, as reported by Mint. Due to technical glitches in the Covin App, the vaccination drive had been put on hold in the state. However, the drive is expected to begin again on 19th January after resolving all the glitches.
Two vaccines are being released in India, Covishield and Covaxin. All three trials for Covishield have been completed as per protocol. However, Covaxin is still undergoing stage – III trials, making critics and experts skeptical about the vaccination’s side effects and efficacy. People receiving Covaxin also have to sign a consent form for “clinical trial mode,” implying that the trials are not yet over and the beneficiaries are a part of the clinical trial. The document also says that the beneficiaries will be compensated in case of adverse effects from the vaccine.
Along with India, many other parts of the world have fallen prey to side effects from the vaccine. In Israel, 13 people suffered mild facial paralysis after receiving the vaccine, while in Norway, 29 people have died after being inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine. The Norwegian Medicines Agency said that all the people who died were senior citizens suffering from “serious basic disorders” while others suffered other adverse reactions like nausea and vomiting. Norwegian officials have said that the vaccine trials may be too risky for the elderly and terminally ill patients.
As there have been side effects of the Covid-19 vaccines, it is too early to comment if these vaccines are fruitful in the long run and to determine the actual efficacy of these vaccines. We will have to wait and see if these vaccines provide us with a solution from Covid-19 without causing much harm to its beneficiaries.