Phase 2 of the vaccination drive against the coronavirus – in which people aged above 60 and those above 45 with comorbidities are being inoculated on priority – began on Monday. The Centre said over 25 lakh people registered for vaccination on the first day on CoWin portal. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took the shot of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin – the homegrown vaccine linked to hesitancy because its clinical trial results are not out yet – sending out a message that the drug is safe for use. Covishield, being manufactured by Serum Institute of India, is the other vaccine being used in the campaign. The government has said both vaccines are safe, but there are some associated side-effects. The companies have detailed these possible adverse events in fact-sheets uploaded on their websites.
Who should not take Covaxin?
Those who have any history of allergies, fever, bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner, are immune-compromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system, are pregnant, are breastfeeding, have received another COVID-19 vaccine, any other serious health related issues, as determined by the vaccinator/officer supervising vaccination, must not take Covaxin.
The mild side-effects of the drug include injection site pain, injection site swelling, injection site redness, injection site itching, stiffness in the upper arm, weakness in injection arm, body ache, headache, fever, malaise, weakness, rashes, nausea, vomiting.
The company said that there is a slim chance the vaccine causes a severe allergic reaction. Signs of a severe adverse event include difficulty in breathing, swelling of face and throat, fast heart-beat, rashes all over the body, dizziness and weakness.
Who should not take Covishield?
The Serum Institute of India fact-sheet says those who have ever had severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) after any drug, food, any vaccine or any ingredients of the vaccine must avoid the drug.
Those who have fever, have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner, are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects the immune system must also not take the vaccine. Those who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, those breastfeeding must also skip the vaccine. People who have taken another anti-Covid vaccine should not take Covishield.
People who had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine must also avoid taking the drug.
Side-effects of Covishield
Common side-effects: Tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching, swelling or bruising where the injection is given, generally feeling unwell, feeling tired (fatigue) chills or feeling feverish, headache, feeling sick (nausea), joint pain or muscle ache, a lump at the injection site, fever, being sick (vomiting), flu-like symptoms, such as high temperature, sore throat, runny nose, cough and chills.
Uncommon side-effects: Feeling dizzy, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, enlarged lymph nodes, excessive sweating, itchy skin or rash.
“These may not be all the possible side effects of the vaccine. Serious and unexpected side effects may occur,” the company warns.