More than 580 cases of Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) have been reported out of nearly 4 lakh people vaccinated in the last five days. Although the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has refused to attribute ‘severe’ cases to vaccine shots, Bharat Biotech and Oxford-AstraZeneca have released their individual fact sheets. Here are the necessary guidelines revealed by the two companies behind the emergency approved vaccines:
Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN
According to Bharat Biotech, the following people should avoid COVAXIN:
- Pregnant ladies
- Breastfeeding women
- Regular consumers of immunity and/or blood thinner medicines
- History of allergies
Interestingly, these precautions come after the lack of study available for pregnant women as well as the pending phase-III results for COVAXIN. Some of the common side-effects include headache, fever, nausea, fatigue, etc. Bharat Biotech has donated 16.5 lakh doses to the Government of India (GoI) for free, apart from the previous order of 55 lakh doses.
According to Oxford, the following people should avoid CoviShield:
- Allergic to L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, or Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA)
- Allergic reaction to the first shot of the vaccine
CoviShield’s efficacy of up to 80% is expected to induce immunity after four weeks of the second dose. Between two doses, Oxford has recommended a gap of 4 to 12 weeks. General side effects of CoviShield include swelling of the upper arm, pain, redness or itching at the spot of injection, difficulty in breathing, body ache, vomiting, etc. According to health experts, people allergic to any one of the ingredients used in making the vaccine are extra prone to the side effects.
In the first phase, these vaccines are available to the front-line workers followed by the elderly people of age above 60. However, it is imperative that the volunteer facing any sort of reaction or side effect after the administration of the vaccine must be swift to report it to his/her nearest doctor.