A government panel studying Covid-19 vaccine side effects has confirmed the first death due to anaphylaxis following vaccination. The National AEFI Committee carried out causality assessment of 31 reported AEFI (Adverse Events Following Immunisation) cases, and said the death of a 68-year-old man had been attributed to a severe allergic reaction following vaccination on March 8.
“It is the first death linked to Covid-19 vaccination due to anaphylaxis. It re-emphasises the need to wait for 30 minutes at the inoculation centre after receiving the jab, Dr N K Arora, Chairperson, National AEFI Committee, told PTI.
The panel, which released data for vaccinations only till the first week of April, examined five deaths reported following vaccination on February 5, eight cases from March 9 and 18 cases from March 31.
As per the panel, while the reporting rate was 2.7 deaths and 4.8 hospitalisations per million vaccine doses administered, it did not automatically imply that the deaths or hospitalisations were caused due to vaccines. Only proper investigation and causality assessments can help establish any causal relationship, the report said.
It classified 18 of the 31 cases it assessed as having inconsistent causal association to vaccination (coincidental, not linked to vaccination); 7 as indeterminate; 3 as vaccine-product related, 1 as anxiety-related reaction; and 2 as unclassifiable.
Vaccine-product related reactions were expected reactions, the panel said. Indeterminate reactions are reactions occurring soon after vaccination but with no definitive evidence in current literature or clinical trial data to show this could have been caused due to the vaccine.
Unclassifiable events are events which have been investigated but there is not enough evidence for assigning a diagnosis due to missing crucial information.
Coincidental events are events reported following immunisation for which a clear cause other than vaccination has been found.
“Over 26 crore doses have been administered… There is no doubt that we should get vaccinated. There is minuscule risk, almost negligible ; and there is a system to reduce this risk,” Dr V K Paul said.