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Coronavirus Vaccine

Reports On COVID Vaccines’ Side-Effects Ill-Informed, Erroneous: Union Health Ministry

Reports On COVID Vaccines' Side-Effects Ill-Informed, Erroneous: Union Health Ministry

New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry, on Tuesday (January 17), refuted the media reports claiming admission of ‘multiple side-effects of COVID-19 vaccines’ by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) officials and called them ill-informed and erroneous. According to a recent report, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have acknowledged “multiple side-effects of COVID-19 vaccines” in a response to an RTI inquiry by Pune businessman Prafful Sarda.

It is clarified that the news report is ill-informed and provides erroneous information, the ministry said, referring to the report.

Also Read: Omicron XBB 1.5 And BF.7: Where Does India Stand Amid The New COVID Variants?

The Union Health Ministry said that a small proportion of patients who receive the COVID-19 vaccine may develop adverse events depending on certain predisposing circumstances. According to the ministry, some of the common side effects of the COVID vaccine include mild headaches, pain or swelling at the injection site, a mild fever, and irritability.

As is the case with all other vaccines, those who get vaccinated with different COVID-19 vaccines may experience mild symptoms like injection site tenderness, pain, headache, fatigue, myalgia, malaise, pyrexia, chills, arthralgia, etc. Rarely, few individuals may experience severe adverse events depending upon certain predisposing conditions, the ministry further stated.

Also Read: “Symptomatic People Should Isolate For 10 Days”, Says WHO In Its New Guidelines

Speaking to the NDTV-Dettol Banega Swasth India team, Dr. Satyanarayana Mysore, a pulmonologist at Manipal Hospitals, Bengaluru, recommended eligible people get vaccinated and advised taking a booster dose. The side effects witnessed are the same as those quoted by the health ministry, however, people with pre-existing allergies or asthma may experience an increase in their symptoms post vaccination, Dr. Mysore said.

The side-effects are seen only in a few people. So, for example, if a population of 1 lakh is inoculated, there must be around 10 per cent people who experience some common side-effects.

Speaking about the vaccine’s efficacy, Dr. Mysore said,

The government and the relevant committees have stated that the current level of neutralising antibodies in the vaccine is adequate to combat the mutated viruses.

Speaking on the new variants and sub-lineages the world is witnessing, such as XBB 1.5 and BF.7, Dr. Mysore said,

The general rule of thumb is that the less powerful the virus, the more people get infected. Because the more powerful the virus is, there is no transmission time, and the person succumbs to the disease. Other factors such as herd immunity, the efficiency of the vaccine also plays a significant role, let’s not forget that.

He suggested the government and concerned committees identify eligible people who have not taken vaccines, and target vaccination among that population.

On the significance of the booster dose (3rd COVID vaccine), Dr. Sandeep Budhiraja, Group Medical Director and Senior Director at the Institute of Internal Medicine, Max Healthcare, said,

“The statistic says that in India, only 27 per cent of the eligible population has taken the booster dose, or as we call it, a third COVID vaccine dose. I think the next step should be ensuring that the remaining eligible population is inoculated with the booster dose.”

Additionally, he emphasised adhering to the golden principles to protect oneself from contracting viruses – wearing a mask, hand washing, maintaining social distance, among others.

Also Read: COVID-19: Covovax To Get Approval As Booster In 10-15 Days, Says SII CEO Adar Poonawalla

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diarrhoea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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