3.8 lakh inoculated, two deaths not associated with vaccine: Government
On Monday, the Union Health Ministry said that the number of people who have been inoculated since Saturday, when the world's largest coronavirus vaccination drive started, stands at 3,81,305. Out of those inoculated, 580 AEFI (adverse events following immunization) were reported and seven had to be hospitalized. Two people died but the government denied any link between the vaccine and the unfortunate incidents.
The first death was reported in Uttar Pradesh where a ward boy, working at a government hospital, died on Sunday. He was given the first dose of Covishield on Saturday afternoon. Yesterday, Dr. Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary at the Union Health Ministry, cited the deceased Mahipal Singh's post-mortem report to announce that his death wasn't linked to the vaccine.
"The post-mortem by a board of three doctors revealed death due to cardiopulmonary disease. There were pockets of pus in the lungs and an enlarged heart. The death is not related to the vaccination," Dr. Agnani emphasized.
The second person to die after getting inoculated was Nagaraju, a 43-year-old healthcare worker in Bellary, Karnataka. He was also administered the vaccine on day one. "The cause of death is the anterior wall infarction with cardiopulmonary failure," Dr. Agnani said. In a statement last evening, Karnataka Health Department said Nagaraju complained of chest pain when he came to work and later collapsed.
"None of the other healthcare workers who took the vaccine from the same vial had any adverse events. The district-level AEFI Committee met and had detailed discussions. The conclusion is that death was due to cardiorespiratory arrest secondary to acute anterior septal wall MI," the statement added.
The Health Ministry informed that on day three (Monday), 1,48,266 healthcare workers were inoculated across 25 states and union territories. To note, states/UTs have been advised to conduct vaccinations on only four days per week, to not affect other routine health services. While most states have stuck to this advisory, Andhra Pradesh and Mizoram decided to have inoculation sessions six days/week and five days/week respectively.
Of the seven hospitalizations, three were reported in Delhi. While two people have been discharged, the one who reportedly fainted is housed at Max Hospital, Patparganj. The person is under observation. In Uttarakhand, one hospitalization was reported and the beneficiary was kept under observation at AIIMS, Rishikesh. One beneficiary is under observation at Government Medical College, Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh. Two people were hospitalized in Karnataka.
Recently, AIIMS Delhi Director Dr. Randeep Guleria, who was among the first ones to get vaccinated, blamed "infodemic" for hesitancy related to vaccination. He told HT that initially healthcare workers were excited about the vaccine. But then an overabundance of information and discussions around side effects, more than what is healthy, sparked anxiety not only among healthcare workers but the general public, he added.
"The vaccine has come within a year, but that does not mean that there has been a compromise on safety. That (convincing people) is something we are still working on," he underlined.