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Covid vaccines cross 3 lakh; 2 deaths but no link: Ministry

In the first of the two cases, Mahipal Singh, a 52-year-old who worked as a wardboy in a government hospital in Moradabad, died on Sunday, a day after he was vaccinated.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi |
Updated: January 19, 2021 7:49:20 am
Bhushan said the number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 in India since the nationwide vaccination drive was rolled out had reached 25,07,556 till 2 pm on Thursday. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

At the end of three days of a nationwide vaccination programme against Covid-19, the Union Health Ministry on Monday said that while no case of severe adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) can be attributed to the vaccines, two persons, who got their doses on January 16, reportedly died due to cardiopulmonary disease not linked to the vaccine.

In the first of the two cases, Mahipal Singh, a 52-year-old who worked as a wardboy in a government hospital in Moradabad, died on Sunday, a day after he was vaccinated. “The post-mortem by a board of three doctors revealed death due to cardiopulmonary disease. There were pockets of pus in the lungs and an enlarged heart. The death is not related to the vaccination,” said Dr Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW).

The post-mortem procedure in the second case — that of 43-year-old Nagaraju, an employee of the state health department in Bellary, Karnataka, who died on Monday, two days after getting the vaccine — was being done, the ministry said. “The cause of death is the anterior wall infarction with cardiopulmonary failure. Post-mortem planned today at Vijaynagar Institute of Medical Sciences, Bellary,” Agnani said.

In the Moradabad case, while Singh’s son Vishal said his condition deteriorated after he took the vaccine on Saturday and that he held “the government responsible” for it, health officials, including the Chief Medical Officer denied that the death was linked to the vaccine.

“He died the next day and it cannot be anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reaction to the vaccine). The person had pus in the lungs, confirming a chronic lung disease,” said Dr Suryakant Tripathi, Professor and Head of the Respiratory Medicine Department at King George’s Medical University in Lucknow, and an expert member of the UP state committee for AEFI.

In Bellary, Deputy Commissioner Pavan Mallapati said the district AEFI committee had ruled out a direct correlation between the vaccination and the death of the worker.

“The highest level of treatment was provided but he could not be saved. None of the other healthcare workers who took the vaccine from the same vial had any adverse events,” officials said.

A health worker being administered the Covishield vaccine during the innoculation drive at LNJP Hospital in New Delhi.

In New Delhi, the Health Ministry said that according to a provisional report till 5 pm on Monday, 3,81,305 beneficiaries from the priority group of healthcare and frontline workers have been vaccinated across the country, with 580 AEFIs reported so far. “No case of serious or severe AEFI attributable to vaccination till date,” Agnani said.

On Monday, 1,48,266 were vaccinated across 25 states and UTs.

The ministry said at least seven people have been hospitalised so far following the Covid-19 vaccination. Delhi has reported three hospitalisations – while two have been discharged, in the other, the beneficiary, who reportedly fainted, is under observation at Max Hospital, Patparganj.

In Uttarakhand, which has reported one hospitalisation, the beneficiary is “stable and under observation” at AIIMS Rishikesh. In Chhattisgarh, one beneficiary is under observation at Government Medical College, Rajnandgaon. Karnataka has reported two hospitalisations.

On Monday, 25 states and UTs conducted 7,704 sessions. According to the provisional data, Karnataka (36,888), Odisha (22,579), West Bengal (11,588), Telangana (10,352), and Andhra Pradesh (9,758) topped the list of vaccinations.

With ENS, Lucknow, Bengaluru

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