India to re-examine adverse events for both Covid vaccines after blood clot concerns over Oxford’s Covishield

The Government of India is reviewing all deaths and hospitalizations associated to vaccine dosage, a prime official has confirmed to India Today.

“All deaths and hospitalizations following immunization are going to be re-looked at,” Dr NK Arora, member of the National Task Force on Covid-19 informed India Today on Saturday.


Dr Arora, nonetheless, has clarified that Covishield will not be being singled out right here.”We are reviewing all the deaths and hospitalizations, very soon we will get to know about the situation. It is irrespective of vaccine received” he stated.

The assertion got here within the wake of a number of nations suspending the usage of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine. Denmark, Norway and Iceland have suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine ‘Covishield’ citing concerns about the potential of it main to blood clots.

AstraZeneca, an Anglo-Swedish firm that developed the vaccine with Oxford University, has defended the protection of its product. The vaccine – AZD1222, has been rechristened Covishield in India and it’s being manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).

The bridging research of Covishield are nonetheless underway in India however the vaccine has been cleared for restricted use as per the factors spelled out by the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI).


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has endorsed the Covishield vaccine. Chief Scientist of the WHO, Dr Soumya Swaminathan stated on Friday that clots being reported after vaccination don’t essentially imply that they’re associated to the vaccine.

“It may have nothing to do with it and that it has been detected because the vaccinated are closely monitored,” Dr Swaminathan stated.

“When investigations into the AZ vaccine are done, rates of clotting events must be compared to the background rates of such events to see if there are more than would otherwise be expected,” she stated.


The Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Agency within the United Kingdom has reviewed roughly 10 million recipients every of AstraZeneca-Oxford and Pfizer vaccines. In conclusion, the physique has discovered no proof of great adverse events from both of the 2 Covid-19 vaccines.

“10 million is an extremely large number, and this gives us a high degree of confidence that such adverse outcomes are not the result of vaccination,” former IMA president Dr Rajeev Jayadevan says.


A eager vaccine observer, Dr Jayadevan additionally says that oversimplification of the time period severe adverse events leads to miscommunication.

“People without background knowledge of public health have difficulty interpreting events following vaccination. AEFI (adverse event following immunisation) does not mean adverse event due to vaccination. It simply means an event that occurred in the period following vaccination. This may or may not be related to the vaccine,” he says.

Dr Jayadevan provides that numerous folks confuse this time period as straight brought on by the vaccine.

“Deaths and illnesses occur in all age groups, from multiple conditions, regardless of whether vaccination is given or not. For example, among young adults, violent deaths predominate. Among the non-violent deaths, undetected heart disease, cerebral vascular disease, infections, liver disease are the major culprits,” he says.

Dr Jayadevan tells India Today, “When these events occur in people who had received a vaccine, it is almost invariable that people will blame the vaccine.”


How ought to these assessments be made?

“In such situations, what matters is whether the frequency of these events was more common after vaccination – also called clustering- in each age group. So far our experience in India has not shown any such clustering,” says Dr Jayadevan.


In India, the opinion is cut up on the difficulty. Civil society teams have been involved about India not reporting extreme adverse events, together with virus-related deaths precisely. Independent estimates recommend no less than 60 deaths in vaccinated people for the reason that immunization drive started on January 16, 2021.

The All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) says that The National AEFI committee for COVID vaccines met solely as soon as on February 5 and made the ultimate causality assessments in solely 2 deaths and three hospitalizations.

“Given the current scale of vaccination, the lack of timely investigating serious adverse events is a growing concern. When will the National AEFI Committee catch up with the pending cases that need to be reviewed and why are not being prioritized?” asks Malini Aisola, co-convenor of All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) .


There are lapses on the floor stage, says Malini Aisola.

She tells India Today, “We are also observing gaps in how serious adverse events are being investigated at the district level. In most instances, local authorities have been quick to make public statements that there is no link to the vaccine, even before investigations and post-mortem have taken place.”

“In several cases, we have found that post mortem was not conducted which may have been because the family did not provide consent or were not counseled regarding the need for post-mortem,” she says.

To date, the Indian authorities has not reported the standing of investigation in every severe adverse occasion and has not even put out info on the ultimate causality assessments of the 5 instances the place the probe has been accomplished.

The fixed chorus is that no extreme or severe adverse events have been linked to vaccination up to now which fails to acknowledge that the method has not been concluded in a majority of the instances, regardless of reporting two instances of anaphylaxis.

AIDAN co-convener Malini Aisola additionally laments the truth that the federal government has stopped reporting details about deaths and hospitalization since February 26.

“Transparency in sharing AEFI and findings of relatedness to vaccination is critical for building confidence in vaccination. It is critical that the details of all serious adverse events that have taken place, the status of where the investigation states, findings of the AEFI committees at various levels and final causality assessment reports are available to the public,” Malini Aisola says.


Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, on Thursday, stated that knowledge associated to AEFI was not being shared as a result of it was “minuscule.”

Rajesh Bhushan stated it’s insignificant, including, “Since you have demanded, it is 0.020 per cent of the immunizations done.”


Experts additionally say that learnings from this pandemic must be used as a chance to strengthen India’s pharmacovigilance programme. All new medicine and vaccines anyplace, together with in India, must be monitored frequently.

President of the Diabetes Foundation India (DFI) Dr Anoop Mishra says, “Since our pharmacovigilance system is not as robust as that of several other countries where AZ vaccine is being given, we have to take strong cognizance of their data.”

“According to WHO, based on 268 million vaccines delivered since the start of the pandemic without severe adverse reactions, hence this ‘vaccine-induced blood clot’ statement should be discounted for now while continuing surveillance for such and other adverse reactions,” he provides.

Asked in regards to the shortcomings in India’s Pharmacovigilance programme, Dr Anoop Mishra tells India Today, “We should have active adverse reaction surveillance system [actively seeking reactions by health networks] rather than passive [patients report reactions] as it exists now. Further duration of surveillance should be longer.”

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