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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: With the ‘vaccine hesitancy’ getting manifested in nearly half a dozen districts-- including the Capital City-- in the State despite a mere 0.01 per cent showing any AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) signs, the two vaccine manufacturers – Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute India – have released fact-sheets that tell who are eligible for taking the Covid-19 vaccines in the country.

As of date, a total of around 60.6k healthcare workers, including ANMs, have got the jab in the State. Odisha has set a target to immunise a total of around 3.38 lakh corona warriors in the phase-1 vaccination programme.

While at the outset, both the manufacturers spell quite unequivocally that the efficacy of the vaccines are yet to be documented, the fact-sheet of Covaxin says,

“In phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials, COVAXIN has demonstrated the ability to produce antibodies against COVID-19. However, the clinical efficacy of COVAXIN is yet to be established and it is still being studied in phase 3 clinical trials. Hence, it is important to appreciate that receiving the vaccine does not mean that other precautions related to Covid-19 need not be followed.”

And the fact-sheet released by Serum Institute of India (SII) states that…

“In on-going clinical trials, the COVISHIELD vaccine has been shown to prevent COVID-19 disease following 2 doses given between 4 and 12 weeks apart. The duration of protection against COVID-19 disease is currently unknown. The COVISHIELD may not protect everyone.”

But both claim that a recipient will never get Covid-19 due to the vaccines.

It is so because, both vaccines contain the gene of coronavirus (In Covishield (a viral vector vaccine, where the vector has been the adenovirus. AND in Covaxin -the vaccine uses the inactivated Covid-19 virus)

Moreover, since the vaccines are approved for emergency use authorisation for non-completion of phase-3 trials, both will not be administered to below 18-years age.

THE FACT-SHEETS

COVAXIN:

Who shouldn’t take the vaccine?

♦Have any allergies

  • Have fever
  • Have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
  • Are immuno-compromised or you are on a medicine that affects your immune system
  • Are pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Have received another COVID-19 vaccine

COVISHIELD:

    ♦ If you have a fever

♦Either having any severe allergic to any medicine, food or vaccine or to any of the constituents (L-Histidine,L-Histidinehydrochloridemonohydrate, Magnesiumchloridehexahydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, Sucrose, Sodium chloride, Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA), Water for injection) of the Covishield.

      ♦If you have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner

  • If you are immune-compromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system

      ♦If you have received another COVID-19 vaccine

  • If you are breastfeeding
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Immuno-compromised means one having certain diseases like – HIV, Cancer, Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis and type-1 Diabetes.

While the Union Ministry of Health had earlier said that recipients having weak immune system as a consequence of diseases like cancer, diabetes etc. are eligible to take the vaccines, the recent fact-sheets by both manufacturers has opened up a new debate.

SIDE-EFFECTS AS PER FACTSHEETS

COVAXIN:

The common side-effects are:

  • Injection site pain
  • Injection site swelling
  • Injection site redness
  • Injection site itching
  • Stiffness in the upper arm
  • Weakness in injection arm
  • Body ache
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Malaise
  • Weakness
  • Rashes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Severe allergic reactions: Company claims chances are very remote.

Difficulty in breathing

  • Swelling of face and throat
  • A fast heart beat
  • Rash all over the body
  • Dizziness and weakness

The Company has also given a 24x7 Toll-Free Number: 18001022245 to report any side-effects one develops post immunisation.

COVISHIELD: The Company has categorised 3 types of side-effects.

Very Common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people)

  • feeling tired (fatigue)
  • A lump at the injection site
  • Joint pain or muscle ache
  • Being sick (vomiting)
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as high temperature, sore throat, runny nose, cough and chills
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Fever

Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)

  • Feeling dizzy
  • Decreased appetite
  • Tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching, swelling or bruising where the injection is given
  • Abdominal pain
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Excessive sweating, itchy skin or rash

The manufacturer has provided a 24 x 7 Call Center Toll-Free Number (For Medical and Adverse Event-Related Queries Only):  +91-1800 1200124

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