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Panel found two deaths not vaccine-linked: Health secy

On the two deaths, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the national AEFI committee found that they were “not related to vaccination”.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi |
February 10, 2021 2:41:13 am
The two deaths which have been found not related to vaccination are that of an acute coronary event with ventricular fibrillation.

The national-level scientific expert committee has classified at least two cases in which beneficiaries were hospitalised after vaccination as anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction to a Covid-19 vaccine, and another case has been classified as syncope, a temporary loss of consciousness due to immunisation-triggered stress response, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that in its first meeting the National-Level Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI) Committee has discussed eight AEFI cases following Covid-19 vaccination and conducted a causality assessment of five cases (two deaths and three hospitalisations) to determine the likelihood of a causal association between the adverse event and Covid-19 vaccine.

Bhushan said the two cases of anaphylaxis have been classified as a vaccine product-related reaction and are “known and expected reactions following vaccinations”. The third case of hospitalisation was classified as “immunisation-triggered stress response (anxiety reaction)”, he said.

“In the three hospitalised cases, all of them recovered completely and were discharged,” Bhushan said.

On the two deaths, Bhushan said that the national AEFI committee found that they were “not related to vaccination”. However, he said, “the causality assessment of three cases has been deferred. The committee has sought from the state government the histopathology and chemical analysis report on the basis of which a decision will be taken. We are creating a standard template and will place it in public domain.”

The two deaths which have been found not related to vaccination are that of an acute coronary event with ventricular fibrillation, which occurs when the heart beats with rapid and erratic impulses; and the second is a hypertensive emergency with intracranial bleed (which occurs when a blood vessel within the skull is ruptured or leaks) with chronic kidney disease.

The Centre on Tuesday also said that it has directed states to schedule all healthcare workers for vaccination at least once on the Co-Win platform before February 20 — and thereafter organise mop-up rounds by February 24 for healthcare workers who missed vaccination during the scheduled round. “Healthcare workers who don’t appear either in scheduled round or mop-up round will have to be relegated to the age-appropriate vaccination rounds” Bhushan said.

States have the discretion to conduct multiple mop-up rounds, he added.

Bhushan said that similar direction has been given in the case of vaccination of front-line workers. “States have to schedule at least one session for front-line workers by March 1. And all front-line workers should be given one opportunity in the mop-up round by March 6,” he said.

The Centre said that 12 states and Union Territories have completed administering the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine to more than 65 per cent of their health care workers. The top five states are Bihar (78.1%); Tripura (77.1%); Madhya Pradesh (76%); Uttarakhand (73.7%); and Odisha (72.4%).

Eleven states and UTs have vaccinated less than 40 per cent of health workers, it was informed. The five states with least vaccination coverage are Puducherry (15.4%); Manipur (21.3%); Nagaland (21.5%), Meghalaya (24.3%) and Tamil Nadu (28.4%).

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The government also provided feedback data from the rapid assessment system of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, which showed that 97 per cent of recipients were “satisfied with overall vaccination experience”. The feedback from 7.75 lakh beneficiaries showed that 88.76 percent were informed about Adverse Event Following Immunization, 98.37 percent said they were informed about the vaccination process and given the vaccine properly, and 97.19 percent said they were asked to wait for 30 minutes post-vaccination for monitoring.

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