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India to review Covishield side-effects after blood clot concerns

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The Government of India has decided to carry out a deeper review of post-vaccination side-effects from the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine shots after several countries halted rollout of Covishield (local version of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine) shot over blood clot fears, as per reports on Saturday.

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However, reports deny any cases of blood clots being reported so far in the country.

This comes in the wake of countries like Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Thailand temporarily suspended vaccination with the drug as a precaution after isolated reports of recipients developing blood clots surfaced.

“We are looking at all the adverse events, particularly serious adverse events like deaths and hospitalisation. We will come back if we find anything of concern,” N.K. Arora, a member of National Task Force on Covid-19, told media.

Arora said there was “no immediate issue of concern as number of adverse events (in India) is very, very low. “We are relooking at these to see if there was any issue of blood clotting.”

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“As of yesterday there were 59 or 60 deaths, and they were all coincidental,” Arora said, adding hospitalisation cases were being re-examined.

“In fact there is a real effort from our side that once complete investigation is done, to put its results in public domain, on the ministry of health website,” Arora added.

The indigenous COVID Vaccine, Covishield, prepared by  Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, in collaboration with AstraZeneca to produce 1 billion doses, has cumulatively administered over 2.82 crore doses so far.

India has been using Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for its mass vaccination programme. Earlier, the Centre had granted emergency use approval to both the vaccine.

Meanwhile, the country has registered 24,882 fresh COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours – the highest daily rise in the last 83 days – taking India’s tally to recorded 1,13,33,728 cases since the outbreak a year ago, according to the government data updated today.

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