Representative image: Reuters
The government is undertaking a deeper review of post-vaccination side effects from both COVID-19 vaccines after several countries suspended the rollout of AstraZeneca's vaccine over blood clot fears.
"All deaths and hospitalisations following immunization are going to be re-looked at," Dr NK Arora, member of the National Task Force on COVID-19 told India Today.
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He further said that the AstraZeneca vaccine, known as Covishield in India, will not be singled out here. "We are reviewing all the deaths and hospitalisations. It is irrespective of the vaccine received. Very soon we will know more about the situation," he added.
Covishield has been developed by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India in partnership with the Oxford University and Swedish-British firm AstraZeneca. Covaxin has been developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech. Both vaccines were granted emergency use authorisation in January.
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Meanwhile, Ireland on March 14 became the latest country to halt the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine. So far, Denmark, Norway, Iceland paused the use of the drugmaker's shot as a precaution after isolated reports of recipients developing blood clots.
Thailand also abruptly delayed its rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine, while Austria Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Luxemburg suspended the use of a batch of AstraZeneca vaccines.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved by both EMA and WHO. About 50 countries have given the go-ahead to the vaccine, making it one of most the widely used jabs in the world, along with Pfizer.
Read: Close to 3 crore doses administered in India; rising infections a worry
The firm has, however, insisted its jab was safe, adding there is "no evidence" of higher blood clot risks.
Backing AstraZeneca, the World Health Organization (WHO) said there was no reason to stop using the jab. The WHO, which said its vaccines advisory committee was examining the safety data coming in, stressed that no causal link has been established between the AstraZeneca vaccine and clotting.
"Yes, we should continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine," WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said, stressing that any concerns over safety must be investigated.Click here for Moneycontrol's full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak