'No concern regarding safety of Covishield, Covaxin vaccines'

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Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said both Covaxin and Covishied are completely safe and immunogenic and as of now, there are no concerns about the safety of these vaccines being used in the country.

He said this at the India Economic Conclave while responding to the growing concerns surrounding Covishield after reports emerged of the vaccine causing blood clots.

Such cases are being examined by the respective governments of the countries where those have emerged. In India, all cases of adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) are monitored through a well-structured and robust surveillance system, Vardhan said.

“The causality assessment of all serious and severe AEFIs is done by the designated AEFI committee to determine if the event is related to the vaccine or the vaccination process or otherwise. Till date, according to current evidence, no significant adverse event following immunisation has been reported in India.

On the vaccine-related side effects, Vardhan said of the total number of beneficiaries inoculated against COVID-19 in the country, the percentage of those who have reported serious AEFIs is 0.0002, “which is very less”.

These “select few cases” do not call for generalisation and their cause and effect need to be established, he said, adding, “We are taking cognisance of all scientific evidence while undertaking the causality assessment of AEFIs.”

The health minister asserted that the vaccines are effective against SARS-CoV-2 and its current variants and that the government is keeping a watch on the evolving scenario.