Covaxin not to be used in cases of allergy, fever, poor immunity

Company releases fact sheet detailing possible adverse events and those who are eligible for the vaccine

Updated - January 18, 2021 10:29 pm IST

Published - January 18, 2021 03:17 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Those with any history of allergies, fever and bleeding disorder, on blood thinners and who are immunity compromised or on medication have been told by COVAXIN manufacturer Bharat Biotech not to take the vaccine.

A statement uploaded on the company website on Monday said the vaccine was also contraindicated for pregnant/lactating women, those using other COVID-19 vaccines and people with any other serious health related issues as determined by the vaccinator/officer supervising vaccination.

The statement comes amidst reports of a slow uptake of the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination in the country that began on January 16.

Bharat Biotech has now released a fact sheet detailing the possible adverse events and those who are eligible for the vaccine.

It said, “There is remote chance that COVAXIN could cause severe allergic reaction including difficulty in breathing, swelling of face/throat/fast heart beat, rash all over the body and dizziness and weakness.’’

The clinical efficacy of COVAXIN was yet to be established and it was still being studied in phase 3 clinical trials. Hence it was important to appreciate that receiving the vaccine did not mean that other precautions related to COVOD-19 need not be followed, it added.

A Health Ministry order has said people currently can’t decide on which vaccine they will get. Getting vaccinated is voluntary.

IMA stand

Health experts and the Indian Medical Association (IMA), advocating an aggressive awareness campaign, especially in the light of the 447 adverse events following immunisation that included three needing hospitalisation, said their “members have been told to reach out to population using public forums, media, social media etc to increase the awareness about the vaccine.’’

The IMA stated that all its members would now provide the right, scientific information to people across the country and promote the vaccine.

“The IMA lost its 732 expert doctors during the past one year and now we have a vaccine. It stands with the government during this phase where healthcare and front line workers would be vaccinated,’’ said its hony. secretary general Dr. Jayesh Lele. More than COVID-19, rumours were proving harmful.

‘People misled by myths’

“People are getting misled by these myths. Obviously, as the modern medicine professional body, it is our responsibility also to fight with the menace of the misinformation against COVID-19,’’ he added.

The association, in a one-page statement, noted that vaccines were for building immunity in the human body. “They help develop immunity and decrease the chances of contracting the illness. These basic facts should be brought in public awareness. This scientific and evidence based preventive medicine should be taught to the people of our country,’’ it said.

Senior Health Ministry officials said that providing vaccination was an organised drive that also included proper history taking and follow-up of those receiving the vaccination.

“The hesitation if any will be addressed through the ongoing awareness campaign and correct information released by the Ministry,’’ said an official.

As per information released by the Health Ministry, India’s daily COVID-19 fatalities dropped to 145 after nearly eight months with 83 per cent of the new deaths being reported from Maharashtra (50), Kerala 21, West Bengal 12 and Delhi (8) in the past 24 hours.

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