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As the National AEFI (Adverse Event Following Immunization) Committee in a report to the Union ministry of health revealed that there are 26 potential cases of thromboembolic in the country, the ministry issued advisories to healthcare workers and vaccine beneficiaries to make them aware of the symptoms of the adverse effects of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination.
Thromboembolic events refer to the formation of a clot in a blood vessel that might also break loose and be carried by the bloodstream to plug another vessel.
“The AEFI Committee has completed an in-depth case review of 498 serious and severe events, of which 26 cases have been reported to be potential thromboembolic (formation of a clot in a blood vessel that might also break loose and carried by the blood stream to plug another vessel) events – following the administration of Covishield vaccine – with a reporting rate of 0.61 cases/ million doses,” the panel said in the report.
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The AEFI panel in the report said that the reporting rate of thromboembolic events in India amounts to 0.61 cases per million. It showed the minuscule but definitive risk of thromboembolic events from the administration of the Covishield vaccine. Covishield is the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine produced in India by the Serum Institute of India.
The report also revealed that no potential thromboembolic events were reported following administration of the Covaxin vaccine. Covaxin is India’s homegrown shot against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) produced by Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad.
Following the revelations, the ministry of health issued advisories to inform people of the suspected thromboembolic symptoms occurring within 20 days after receiving any Covid-19 vaccine, particularly Covishield. The ministry aimed to encourage people to preferably report to the health facility where the shot was administered in case any symptoms of the thromboembolic events appear.
The government mentioned these as the symptoms for the thromboembolic events that might occur:
· Pain in the chest
· Pain in limbs or pain on pressing limbs or swelling in limbs (arm or calf)
· Multiple, pinhead-size red spots or bruising of skin in an area beyond the injection site
· Persistent abdominal pain with or without vomiting
· Seizures in the absence of previous history of seizures with or without vomiting
· Severe and persistent headache with or without vomiting (in the absence of previous history of migraine or chronic headache)
· Weakness or paralysis of limbs or any particular side or part of the body (including face)
· Persistent vomiting without any obvious reason
· Blurred vision or pain in eyes or having double vision
· Change in mental status or having confusion or depressed level of consciousness
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The decision to conduct the in-depth analysis came after alerts were raised in many countries on post-vaccination thrombotic events on March 11, particularly related with Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, the ministry ascertained that the benefits from Covid-19 vaccination outweigh its risks. Covishield continues to have a positive benefit risk profile with tremendous potential to prevent infections and reduce deaths due to the virus in India and across the world. More than 13.4 crore doses of Covishield vaccine have been administered as on April 27, the ministry informed.