Covishield vaccine side effects: Ex-ICMR scientist says only 7 in 10 lakh may face risk

Former ICMR scientist Dr Raman Gangakhedkar stated that a very small number of people may face the risk of rare side effects from the Covishield vaccine, including Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS).

Updated1 May 2024
A Covid-19 vaccine dose being administered.
A Covid-19 vaccine dose being administered.(AP)

The former scientist of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr Raman Gangakhedkar, has said that a very small number of people may face the risk of the COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield.

Gangakhedkar made the remark while speaking to News18 on Wednesday amid concerns over the rare side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Only seven to eight individuals out of 10 lakh who receive the Covishield vaccine face the risk of experiencing a rare side effect known as Thrombosis Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) Gangakhedkar told News18.

“The risk is highest when you get the first dose. It lowers with the second dose and is lowest with the third,” News18 quoted the epidemiologist, as saying.

The scientist also said any side effects would likely appear within the initial two to three months. He added that given the positive impact of this vaccine on millions of recipients, the associated risk is minimal.

Recently, AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical giant which developed the vaccine in partnership with the University of Oxford, had admitted in court documents in the UK that its COVID-19 vaccine could cause a rare side effect known as Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS). 

However, the company reaffirmed its dedication to patient safety amid a class action lawsuit in the UK.

TTS is characterised by blood clots (thrombosis) combined with low levels of platelets (thrombocytopenia), which are necessary for blood clotting.

Also Read: Thrombosis Thrombocytopenia Syndrome: Symptoms of TTS. Rare side-effect of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine explained

In India, the vaccine was produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's largest vaccine manufacturer.

Also Read: AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine can cause ‘TTS in very rare cases': What is it?

“Our sympathy goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones or reported health problems. Patient safety is our highest priority, and regulatory authorities have clear and stringent standards to ensure the safe use of all medicines, including vaccines,” AstraZeneca spokesperson said in a statement.

Meanwhile, amid the row, the Samajwadi Party alleged that the BJP took a "commission" from the manufacturer of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Additionally, the RJD also accused the Centre of administering the “wrong” vaccine to the country's people.

Also Read: 'Sympathy goes out to...': AstraZeneca reaffirms safety of Covishield, Vaxzevria vaccines amid blood clot concerns

Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj also said the Centre should urgently work to address the alleged side effects.

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