National

Coronavirus | 180 deaths following vaccination reported in India

A medical worker administers a shot to a man during a vaccination drive in New Delhi on April 8, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

According to a presentation made to the National AEFI Committee during a meeting held on March 31, there have been 617 severe and serious (including deaths) adverse events following immunisation (AEFI). As on March 29, a total of 180 deaths (29.2%) have been reported following vaccination across the country. Complete documentation is available only for 236 (38.3%) cases.

Data as on March 29, 2021
  • Total number of severe and serious AEFI (including death) reported: 617
  • Total number of cases with complete documents: 236 (38.3%)
  • Total number of deaths reported: 180 (29.2%)
  • Total number of cases where NACM approved: 13/180 (10 deaths and 3 hospitalised)
  • Number of dates to be presented today: 180/180
  • Causality deferred after discussion: 9 cases/180
  • Total number of deaths with complete documents awaiting causality: 35 (19.4%)

In all, 492 severe and serious AEFI have been classified by the AEFI Secretariat of the Immunisation Technical Support Unit (ITSU) at the Health Ministry. Classification has been completed for 124 deaths, 305 serious events that required hospitalisation, and 63 severe events that did not require hospitalisation.

The classification by the AEFI Secretariat was on the basis of case reporting forms (CRF) and case investigation forms (CIF) submitted at the district level. In the meeting, individual AEFI cases were presented and brought up for discussion by experts in the AEFI causality assessment committee.

Of the 124 deaths, more than 63 deaths (nearly 51%) have been categorised as being caused due to acute coronary syndrome (a range of conditions associated with sudden, reduced blood flow to the heart) or heart attack. Another 11 deaths (12%) of deaths are due to stroke.

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As on March 17, the details of the causality assessment of only 13 AEFI including 10 deaths have already been made public by the national AEFI committee. The vaccine was not found to have caused death in any of the 10 vaccinated people.

However, in many cases post mortems have not been conducted. For example, in at least six out of 10 cases where the National AEFI Committee has completed causality assessment, no post mortem has been done, says Malini Aisola, a Public Health Researcher based in Delhi.

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