Hyderabad: Of the two vaccines approved for emergency use in India — Covishield and Covaxin — those receiving the latter as part of the anti-Covid-19 vaccination drive, will be under a close watch, definitely for at least one week from the day they receive their first dose.
“We will check their status every day for a week. Anyone receiving Covaxin, as per government of India guidelines, will also have to sign a consent form saying they are taking it voluntarily. While the recipients can self-report, we will also have daily checks. We will follow all protocols, whether Covaxin or Covishield,” Director of Health Services Dr G. Srinivasa Rao said.
When a reporter asked a question on the safety of Covaxin, the senior official said it was time to stop questioning Covaxin. Instead of questioning it, "We should be proud that it is developed in Hyderabad. It is a product of Telangana gadda (land). It is a totally indigenous vaccine. We should take pride in that," the Director of Health Services said.
Of the 3.84 lakh doses of the two vaccines received by Telangana state in the first instalment, Covaxin, developed and produced by the city-based Bharat Biotech, accounts for 20,000 doses.
Dr Srinivasa Rao or Director of Medical Education Dr K Ramesh Reddy who addressed the press conference did not say whether those receiving Covidshield developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and produced in the country by Serum Institute of India will be under similar scrutiny.
While Covishield had completed the mandatory three phases of trials, Covaxin is still completing its Phase III trials in the country and technically is still in the process of meeting all the mandatory requirements laid down by the laws governing approvals for new vaccines.
Both vaccines, however, have been approved for emergency use by the government only after it was satisfied with their safety, Dr Srinivasa Rao and Dr Ramesh Reddy said, addressing concerns over their safety.
Meanwhile, according to a fact sheet from Serum Institute on Covishield, some of the side-effects reported very commonly (one in 10 recipients) include tenderness, redness or some pain at the injection site, some chills or feverish feeling, headaches, or nausea or joint or muscle pains.
Common side-effects included a lump at the injection site, fever, some vomiting and flu like symptoms and the uncommon ones were a feeling of dizziness, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, enlarged lymph nodes, excessive sweating and itchy skin or rash.