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India to review COVID-19 vaccines after blood clot warning: Report

India is currently administering AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is manufactured by the Serum Institute and branded Covishield, and a shot developed by Bharat Biotech called COVAXIN.

April 09, 2021 / 08:59 AM IST
The review comes after Europe’s drug regulator said on April 7 that it found a possible link between AstraZeneca’s vaccine and rare blood clotting issues in adults who had received the shot. (Representative image: Reuters)

The review comes after Europe’s drug regulator said on April 7 that it found a possible link between AstraZeneca’s vaccine and rare blood clotting issues in adults who had received the shot. (Representative image: Reuters)

A government panel of experts is investigating for any domestic cases of blood clotting, even mild ones, as a side effect of the two COVID-19 vaccines being administered in India, financial daily Mint reported on April 9, citing two people aware of the development.

India is currently administering AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is manufactured by the Serum Institute and branded Covishield, and a shot developed by Bharat Biotech called COVAXIN.

The review comes after Europe’s drug regulator said on April 7 that it found a possible link between AstraZeneca’s vaccine and rare blood clotting issues in adults who had received the shot, although it added the vaccine’s advantages still outweighed the risks.

Follow our LIVE blog for the latest updates of the novel coronavirus pandemic

India is banking on vaccinations to help contain a record surge in cases in its second wave. The country reported a massive 126,789 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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"We are looking at side-effects of blood clots that have been seen in people who received Covishield and Covaxin, even if it was a mild case," a source told Mint, who added that a report on it was likely to be ready by next week.

Also read | Over 36 lakh people get COVID-19 vaccine in India on April 8, 9.43 crore shots administered so far

Following Europe’s announcement, several countries have announced restrictions on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in younger people.

Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.
Reuters
first published: Apr 9, 2021 08:51 am

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