Who Should Not Get Vaccinated? What’re Possible Adverse Reactions?

Here’s what the Centre’s fact sheet says about the two vaccines — Covishield and Covaxin.
Mythreyee Ramesh
Image used for representation purpose. | (Photo: PTI)
Image used for representation purpose.

India began the third phase of vaccinations against coronavirus from 1 April. People above 45 years of age, irrespective of comorbidities, are eligible to get the jabs.

Earlier, the Centre had issued guidelines to states on using Covishield and Covaxin the two vaccines that were administered in the first phase.

Ahead of the third phase, who is not eligible to be vaccinated? What does the government say about side effects? Here’s a break down of the Centre’s fact sheet on Covishield and Covaxin.

Who is not eligible to be administered the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • Those below 18 years of age are not allowed to receive the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Pregnant and lactating mothers
  • Those with allergic reactions to vaccines, pharmaceutical products, notable food allergies
  • Anyone who has had an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine earlier

Who are those people who are temporarily not eligible to get the vaccine?

  • Persons showing active symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  • COVID-19 patients who have been given anti-SARS-Cov-2 monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma.
  • Acutely unwell and hospitalised patients (with or without intensive care) due to any illness.
  • The vaccine should be given with “caution” to persons with a history of any bleeding or coagulation disorder – platelet disorder, clotting factor deficiency, or coagulopathy.

What are the general instructions given to states on administering vaccine?

  • The vaccines are not interchangeable: the second dose will have to be of the same vaccine that was administered as the first dose.
  • The vaccine should be given with “caution” to persons with a history of any bleeding or coagulation disorder – platelet disorder, clotting factor deficiency, or coagulopathy.
  • Vaccinators must store both vaccines at +2°C to +8°C; protect them from light; and discard the vaccine if found to be frozen.

Can those with certain health conditions be administered the vaccine?

Persons with a past history of COVID-19 infection can be administered with vaccine.

Persons with a history of chronic diseases and comorbidities – cardiac, neurological, pulmonary, metabolic, and malignancies – are also included.

Persons with immunodeficiency or HIV, and patients on immunosuppression due to “any condition” can be administered the COVID-19 vaccine.

Will the vaccine be effective in those with comorbidities?

The fact sheet states the response to COVID-19 vaccine “may be less in these individuals.” However, further information on this is awaited.

When should the vial be discarded?

If the vaccine in the vial is frozen, it should be discarded before administering.

What are the common adverse events with Covishield vaccine?

For Covishield, the fact sheet says some mild adverse events can happen following immunisation:

  • Injection site tenderness; injection site pain; headache; fatigue; myalgia (muscle pain); discomfort; pyrexia (an abnormal elevation of body temperature); chills; and nausea.
  • In such cases, a paracetamol can be given, the advisory adds.
  • It also says “very rare events of demyelinating disorders” have been reported following vaccination with Covishield, “without the causal relationship establishment.”

What are the common adverse events with Covaxin vaccine?

According to the Centre’s fact sheet, these are the common adverse events after administering Covaxin.

  • Injection site pain
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body ache
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Cold
  • Cough

Bharat Biotech has claimed that no serious adverse event has been reported in Phase 1 and 2.

What should I do if I experience any of these symptoms?

  • You should contact your physician immediately.
  • For any queries about the vaccination, one can contact 1075 – the 24x7 COVID-19 hotline.

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Published: 15 Jan 2021,05:53 PM IST