The Union Health Ministry on 17 January said that 447 adverse events following immunisation were reported across the country since India’s coronavirus vaccination drive began on 16 January. An adverse event following immunisation, or AEFI, is any unexpected medical occurrence following inoculation but may or may not be related to the vaccine or the vaccination process.
In a statement, the ministry said that three of the 447 cases needed hospitalisation. “Of these, one has been discharged from Northern Railway Hospital Delhi within 24 hours; one has been discharged from AIIMS Delhi; and one is under observation in AIIMS Rishikesh and is being monitored,” the government said in its on 17 January press release on the coronavirus vaccination.
It said that most of the AEFIs are minor such as fever, headache and nausea. “Protocols are in place for reporting, immediate case management at vaccination session site, transportation and hospitalization and further care of such cases,” the minister said. “Protocols are also in place for systematic investigation and causality assessment of serious AEFIs.”
So far, 2,24,301 beneficiaries have received vaccines against the coronavirus in India. A total of 17,072 frontline workers were administered the vaccines during 553 sessions held in six states on 17 January. On the first day on 16 January, 1,91,181 beneficiaries were vaccinated.
India, which has reported the highest number of coronavirus infections after the United States, plans to vaccinate around 300 million people with two doses in the first six to eight months of the year. The recipients include 30 million doctors, nurses and other front-line workers, to be followed by people who are either over 50 or have illnesses that make them vulnerable to Covid-19.
Beneficiaries, however, will not be able to choose between the Oxford University-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India, and Covaxin, a government-backed, indigenous one from Bharat Biotech, whose efficacy is not known.
51 adverse events reported in Delhi: Health minister
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on 17 January said that 51 adverse events were reported in the national Capital and one of them was “serious”, media reported. The patient is a 22-year-old security guard who works at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Jain said that 4,319 healthcare workers were vaccinated at 81 centres in Delhi on 16 January. Delhi had aimed at inoculating 8,117 health workers on day one of the drive but only half of the target could be achieved.
13 people in Israel suffer facial paralysis after taking vaccine shots
At least 13 people in Israel have suffered mild facial paralysis as a side-effect post Coronavirus vaccination, media reported. The Health Ministry said that the actual number of people suffering such side effects could be higher than reported.
Experts are now apprehensive of giving the second dose of the shot to these people, even though the health ministry has insisted on giving the jab once the paralysis heals.
“For at least 28 hours I walked around with it (facial paralysis),” one person told media. “I can’t say it was completely gone afterwards, but other than that I had no other pains, except a minor pain where the injection was but there was nothing beyond that.”
Israel began its Covid-19 vaccination drive on 20 December 2020. About 72% of those aged 60 and over have already been vaccinated.
29 die in Norway
Recently, 29 elderly people died in Norway, shortly after receiving the Pfizer’s mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine. The country launched a mass vaccination campaign at the end of December 2019, with the very oldest citizens and residents of nursing homes being offered vaccination first, including those over the age of 85.
The Norwegian Medicines Agency on its website said that 13 of the 23 people who died had shown common side effects of mRNA vaccines such as diarrhea, nausea and fever.