Centre refutes reports on side-effects of COVID-19 vaccines
The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday rejected reports claiming that the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had admitted to numerous side effects of COVID-19 vaccines. According to the Health Ministry, international research reports have shown that coronavirus vaccination has aided in reducing the disease severity by preventing hospitalizations and deaths caused by COVID-19.
Why does this story matter?
- The Union Health Ministry's response came on a Right to Information (RTI) query that claimed that ICMR and CDSCO have recognized "multiple side-effects of COVID-19 vaccines" and "a plethora of ramifications arising out of all the COVID vaccines."
- According to the ministry, the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered so far is 220.17 crore, including 22.46 crore precaution and 95.14 crore second doses.
Centre lists benefits, drawbacks of COVID-19 vaccination
ICMR provided a checklist of drawbacks and benefits of COVID-19 vaccines from reputed websites of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Health Ministry, where compiled global proof on numerous coronavirus vaccines is available. "It is clarified that the news report is ill-informed and provides erroneous information," a statement from the Health Ministry said, as per PTI.
Side effects of COVID-19 vaccination
It also reinstated that only a small majority of individuals who take the COVID-19 vaccine might develop severe adverse events depending on specific predisposing possibilities. "As is the case with all other vaccines, those who get vaccinated with different Covid-19 vaccines may experience mild symptoms like injection site tenderness, pain, headache, fatigue, myalgia, malaise, pyrexia, chills, arthralgia, etc.," it added.
ICMR yet to comment on any of the documents: Centre
India's National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) has oftentimes assessed the merits and demerits of the coronavirus vaccines used in the country and has backed the conclusions mentioned above, the Centre added. "It may be noted that ICMR has not commented on any of the documents, links of which have been shared as part of the RTI response," notified the Centre.
Not liable for deaths by COVID-19 vaccination: Centre told SC
In November last year, the Centre told the Supreme Court that it couldn't be held responsible for paying compensation for fatalities caused by adverse reactions to coronavirus vaccines. The Centre's response came in an affidavit filed in the SC in response to a plea by the parents of two women who reportedly died as a result of the adverse effects of a coronavirus vaccine.
No legal compulsion to obtain COVID-19 vaccination: Centre
"The vaccines in use under the vaccination program are manufactured by third parties and have successfully undergone thorough regulatory review in India as well as other nations, being recognized globally as safe and effective," the affidavit clarified. The government further told the apex court there was no legal compulsion for the citizens to get vaccinations and that it was completely voluntary, reported The Wire.