Up to 60 people have experienced “serious adverse events” following Covid immunisation, according to a report by a Central panel studying such cases. Its previous report, published last month, had registered 31 such cases.
The National Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) Committee, which conducts causality assessment of AEFIs for COVID-19, completed its assessment on May 27. It has submitted is report to the Union Health Ministry.
Fifty-five of the 60 cases reported this time were found to have a consistent causal association to vaccination. Of these, 36 were anxiety-related reactions and 18 were product-related, while one was categorised as both.
Five cases have been found to have an “inconsistent” causal association to vaccination — this included a case of death.
The death has been categorised as a “coincidental event”, which means that though it may have been reported following immunisation, it had another clear cause.
The AEFI’s June report included one death of a fully vaccinated person. It was labelled “vaccine product-related reaction” or anaphylaxis.
Back then, the health ministry had said that the overall benefits of vaccination were overwhelmingly greater than the small risk of harm.
The AEFI panel has repeated the message this time, too. “However, as a measure of utmost precaution, all emerging signals of harm are being constantly tracked and reviewed periodically,” it has said in its report.
India launched its Covid vaccination drive in January and has till now immunised around 40 crore people. Amid the drive, the country was swept by a devastating second wave of the pandemic, which saw hundreds of deaths and cases of hospitalisation.