Representational Image
Representational Image
Photo: AFP

Bengaluru: The mass Covid vaccination – a foray into uncharted territory -- was always a leap in the dark. Of the 3.81 lakh health care workers who have got the life-saving jab thus far, 580 developed adverse reaction following immunization – a minuscule number.

While adverse reactions were anticipated, it is a matter of concern that two out of the seven Covid-19 vaccine beneficiaries who had developed severe symptoms after being immunized have died.

One of them is a 43-year-old Group D hospital worker, who died in Ballari in Karnataka; he had taken the vaccination on January 16 and died on Monday afternoon. The post-mortem report is awaited; however, District Authorities maintain that the fatality was not induced by the vaccine. Identified as Nagaraj, the Ballari district administration said the deceased had pre-existing comorbidities, mainly diabetes and heart condition.

“The man went to work after taking the vaccine. On Monday morning he complained of chest pain and the doctors at Sandur General Hospital began treating him. The cause of death is myocardial infarction,” an official said.

Even if the death is related to comorbidities, it is likely to have an impact among frontline workers who may be now reluctant to take a shot of the vaccine.

A death was also reported from Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. Mahipal Singh, 46, a ward boy at a government hospital, had been administered the vaccine 24 hours before his untoward demise. The district's Chief Medical Officer said the death was not related to vaccination. The post-mortem report has revealed the immediate cause of death as "cardiogenic shock/septicemic shock" due to "cardio-pulmonary disease." According to his family, he had been unwell before the jab.

One person is under observation in Uttarakhand, at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rishikesh. Another person is hospitalized in Chhattisgarh's Rajanandgaon.

WHAT IS AEFI - ADVERSE EVENTS POST IMMUNIZATION?

WHO defines AEFI as any untoward medical occurrence which follows immunisation and does not necessarily have a causal relationship with the vaccination.

Mostly such events are minor in nature: pain, mild swelling at the injection site, mild fever, body-ache, nausea, giddiness and mild allergic reactions like rashes, etc.

Only a few AEFIs require hospitalization. These cases are classified under serious AEFIs.

Such cases are immediately attended to at the vaccination session site.

In fact, most AEFIs are identifiable with 45 minutes but recipients are advised to monitor their health for 15 days.

In case of any adverse event, the onus is on vaccine companies.

The need of the hour is that all AEFI events are documented and catalogued, and looked into in detail (Source: India Today).

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