Bharat Biotech’s vaccine Covaxin and Covishield by the Serum Institute of India were approved by the Central Drugs and Standards Committee (CDSCO). This kickstarted the inoculation drive in India on the 16th January, with priority being given to frontline and healthcare workers.
Who should avoid these vaccines?
Bharat Biotech recently released a factsheet specifying who shouldn’t be administered the Covaxin. According to it, individuals who have a history of allergies, who have a fever, have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner or are pregnant, breastfeeding, are immune-compromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system, have serious health-related issues should be exempted from receiving the vaccine.
SII too stated that persons who have had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of Covishield or are allergic to any ingredients in the same should avoid it.
Approval of Covaxin generated some controversy as it is still in its third phase of clinical trials. The recipients of the vaccine will be followed-up for three months after the second dose, as a continuation of the trial. While it does generate immunity after two doses (given four weeks apart), Covaxin’s clinical efficacy hasn’t been established yet. Guidelines state that it is thus important to follow Covid-19 precautions after receiving the vaccine.
If the beneficiary suffers from an adverse event, they would be given “medically recognized standard of care”, and compensation would be paid by Bharat Biotech if the adverse event is “proven to be causally related to the vaccine”.
According to The Print, Covaxin has been met with mixed reactions from the medical community. While doctors in Assam, Maharashtra and Haryana approve of it, doctors from AIIMS Delhi want more data regarding the vaccine’s safety and efficacy.
Source: The Print
Cover image source: Rediff
Also read: Government’s vaccine communication strategy