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COVID-19 vaccination voluntary, no provision of insurance for side-effects: Govt

A medical staff inoculates a police personnel with a COVID-19 vaccine at the Civil hospital in Amritsar.  (AFP)Premium
A medical staff inoculates a police personnel with a COVID-19 vaccine at the Civil hospital in Amritsar. (AFP)

  • India started nationwide COVID-19 vaccine drive started on 16 January with healthcare and essential workers
  • For Covishield vaccine, a total of 8,402 AEFIs, i.e. 0.192% AEFI cases have been reported out of total beneficiaries vaccinated, Choubey said

There is no provision of insurance for recipients of coronavirus vaccine against any kind of side affects or medical complications that may arise due to inoculation, Ashwini Choubey, minister of health informed Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

India started nationwide COVID-19 vaccine drive started on 16 January with healthcare and essential workers. India has granted emergency use authorisation to two COVID-19 vaccines — Pune-based Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd’s Covaxin which are being used in the government’s vaccination drive.

Answering to a question on whether those administered oeto be administered with the COVID-19 vaccines are insured against any kind of side effects or medical complications that may arise due to inoculation, Ashwini Choubey said, "The COVID-19 vaccination is entirely voluntary for the beneficiary."

In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Choubey said, "Measures have been put in place like availability of anaphylaxis kits at each vaccination site, immediate referral to AEFI management centre and observation of vaccine recipients for 30 minutes at session site for any adverse events so as to ensure timely corrective measure."

"Also the AEFI management of such cases are provided free of cost treatment in Public Health Facilities," he said.

On Adverse Effects Following Immunisation (AEFI) arising from the use of Covaxin and Covishield, Choubey said, "Till 4 February, a total of 81 Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFIs) i.e. 0.096% AEFIs cases have been reported out of total beneficiaries vaccinated with Covaxin vaccine."

For Covishield vaccine, a total of 8,402 AEFIs, i.e. 0.192% AEFI cases have been reported out of total beneficiaries vaccinated, Choubey said in an another reply. Most of these are minor AEFIs like anxiety, vertigo, giddiness, dizziness, fever, pain, rashes, and headache which are self-limiting and all people have recovered.

Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) of COVID-19 vaccines are monitored through a well-structured and robust AEFI surveillance system. COVID-19 vaccination of healthcare workers and frontline workers is ongoing and the vaccination coverage along with AEFIs are being monitored regularly at block, district, state and national level.

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