Covaxin – Is It Safe For You? Read To Know The Truth
The vaccination drive in India is progressing with great momentum. However, some people are still puzzled if they should take a shot of it or not. Well, the skepticism is totally understandable. Though the vaccines have been prepared in a haste but it has been studied well and thus has been approved by the government of India.
Covaxin is a COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Bharat Biotech in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology (NIV). Covaxin has shown an 81% (interim 3rd phase trial results) efficacy rate against COVID-19 disease. ICMR even found Covaxin to be effective against the Delta variant of coronavirus
However, the vaccine manufacturers have issued an advisory people must go through before they take the shot.
Who shouldn’t get Covaxin?
The vaccine manufacturer has clearly stated that people who have a weaker immunity or are taking a medicine that impacts their immune system should not take the shot.
Bharat Biotech has released a fact sheet suggesting who else shouldn’t take Covaxin:
- People with a history of allergies.
- People with fever.
- People with a bleeding disorder.
- People on a blood thinner.
- Pregnant & breastfeeding women.
- People with other serious health issues.
- Children below 18 years of age.
Moreover, people who have taken a shot of some other COVID-19 vaccine should also not take Covaxin.
Notably, before the vaccination drive was not launched, the government had said that people who are on immuno-suppressants or have a weaker immunity could take the vaccine but it might not turn out to be very effective. It is worth mentioning that people undergoing chemotherapy, HIV treatment or taking steroids are immune-suppressed.
Who is eligible to get Covaxin?
Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has authorized Bharat Biotech for the restricted use of Covaxin under clinical trial mode. It means that the people, who are on the priority list prepared by the government-appointed panel, will be covered under this program.
It is the responsibility of the respective state governments to inform the individuals who are in line to get the vaccine. The people who are on the priority list have been given the option to receive or reject the vaccine administration at the government-specified booths.
What’s the good news?
So far, about eight lakh people have been vaccinated in India, and the authorities have seen only 580 cases of adverse effects on the patients. There also have been two deaths, in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka but those were completely unrelated to the vaccine.
According to the official figures, only 0.18% of cases have resulted in adverse events following immunization (AEFIs), of which only 0.002% resulted in hospitalization.
Myths Related to Covaxin
- A common myth regarding covid vaccines is that these vaccines are unsafe since they were developed so quickly. You must remember that the vaccines underwent a process of tests, reviews and approval. Global cooperation between countries and the drug manufacturing industry on an unprecedented scale made it possible to administer vaccines quickly. This does not mean vaccines are unsafe, infact getting vaccinated is your only way to prevent severe infection.
- Another myth regarding covid vaccines is it is not advisable for those on their menstrual cycles. There is no evidence that covaxin or any other covid vaccines cannot be taken on your period. You must stick to your vaccination schedule and take it irrespective.
- Covaxin contains newborn calf serum is nothing but a myth.
Possible side-effects Covaxin may cause
Bharat Biotech has also defined the possible side-effects (mostly mild), that you may experience post-vaccination. Have a look:
- Nausea and vomiting
The other adverse effects may include:
- Severe allergic reaction.
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Swelling on the face.
- Swelling in the throat.
- Increased heartbeat.
- Rashes all over the body.
- Dizziness & weakness.
The government has set up specific booths for vaccinations, where they have appointed health experts, who will observe the patients for 30 minutes after vaccination to observe any serious side effects if they occur.
Additional planning for patient safety
Bharat Biotech in its fact sheet has also confirmed that the recipients of the vaccine will be a part of a three-month follow-up program, in which designated government officials will track the development of any health issues in them.
In case, anyone develops any serious health conditions, they will get medically recognized standard care at a government facility. The person will also get compensation for developing many serious health issues.
The document further states that the clinical efficacy of Covaxin is yet not established, as it is still in the Phase 3 clinical trial stage. Hence, people who receive it are still advised to follow all the COVID-19 related precautions diligently.
People who are next in line to get Covaxin or any other COVID-19 vaccine must disclose their medical history to the vaccinator before vaccination to avoid any chances of adverse effects. Moreover, looking at the AEFI rate, people with a healthy immune system may take a sigh of relief.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.