Government establishes protocols to manage adverse reactions due to Corona vaccine

According to the Health Ministry officials, few adverse reactions cannot be ruled out and the guidelines for managing them has been included in the vaccination drive guidelines.

COVID vaccine adverse effects
COVID vaccine adverse effects

The Central government informed on December 15, 2020 that the protocols have been established to manage any form of adverse reactions- severe, minor or serious, to the corona vaccine as it admitted that there is always a possibility of an adverse event after immunization.

According to the Health Ministry officials, few adverse reactions cannot be ruled out and the guidelines for managing them has been included in the vaccination drive guidelines. The officials also added that in accordance with guidelines, limited number of vaccination will be monitored in each immunization session.

The vaccine for Corona will be offered first to the frontline workers, health workers, and persons who are above 50 years of age. They will be followed by those who are below 50 years with associated comorbidities and finally to the rest of the population based on vaccine availability and disease epidemiology.

Why the protocols are significant?

According to the Health Secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, adverse events, after immunization is an extremely critical aspect. Even at the time of universal immunization, which have been going on for decades has seen some adverse effects in pregnant women and children.

So, no one can deny the possibility of adverse effects after corona vaccination which makes it essential for states and UTs to prepare for this too.  

While commenting on the protocols, member of NITI Aayog, Dr. VK Paul stated that there are large number of beneficiaries that are to be tackled in a small period of time, so it is a much bigger challenge.

He added that the government was also aware of the fungal infections reports in patients who recovered from Corona at a Delhi Hospital. With this disease, new things are being discovered constantly.

Protocols to manage adverse reactions:

30 minutes on site monitoring of the people, post vaccination, has been mandated.

To prepare for such events, states and UTs must set up atleast one AEFI- Adverse Event Following Innunisation centre in each block.

Additionally, community health centres, primary healthcare facilities and private medical facilities will also function as AEFI management centres in States and UTs.

The government has also asked the states to avoid mixing different vaccines as far as possible.

A multi-level mechanism has also been set up to oversee the vaccination drive at different levels and 36 states and UTs had already held over 600 meetings.

Guidelines for Corona vaccination drive: Background

Earlier, the government had released the guidelines for the Corona vaccination drive and under phase 1 of the vaccination, it has planned to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people.

Co-WIN system is set to be used for tracking the beneficiaries of the vaccine. According to the guidelines, each session will have 100 beneficiaries per day and the vaccination team responsible will consist of 5 members.

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