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Severe Side Effects After Vaccine Dose, No Answer on SII Helpline

Heartburn, sore throat, unbearable headache were a few side effects my brother and I suffered after taking the jab.

Updated
My Report
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p> Covishield vaccine side effects: Sahid from Odisha recounts his experience of getting his first dose of the COVID vaccine.</p></div>
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On Monday, 24 May, my brother and I got the first dose of Covishield at UCHC Panposh in Sundargarh, Odisha at around 9:00 am. We had heard that some side effects are natural, but the next 48 hours were very tough for the both of us.

After we got the shot, I asked the doctor at the site what I should do in case of any side effects. He asked us to just take a Paracetamol and nothing else. We returned home. At around 3 pm, my brother and I got chills, high fever and an unbearable headache. My brother also had pain in his arm and heaviness in his chest. At night, we both took another Paracetamol as prescribed, but things got worse, perhaps due to a reaction. We both hardly slept. My parents slept beside us to take care of us the whole night.

The next day, on Tuesday, 25 May, I lost sense of smell and taste. I had dizziness, a sore throat, and little bit of pain in my arm. While this was bearable till that night, I got an unbearable heartburn/chest pain that was a nightmare. I was not taking any other medicine as the doctor advised only Paracetamol.

I called the Serum Institute of India for help to register my case under Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI), but I was unable to get any assistance, as the lines remained unanswered.

By Wednesday, 26 May, my brother and I were doing well, with just a little bit of heartburn and pain in the arm. This incident made us question why there was not enough information about severe side effects from the vaccine. We believed the doctor when he said it can be treated with just a Paracetamol, but what about those who are facing more adverse effects?

Severe Side Effects After Vaccine Dose, No Answer on SII Helpline
(Photo Courtesy: Sahid Ali Khan)

I thought I would be having only a little bit of fever but it was a hell of a day. The heartburn and headache were unbearable after a point.

Luckily, my mother had got the jab earlier and she only developed arm pain and headache as side effects. Judging by her experience, my brother and I thought we too would get mild symptoms. I spoke to some of my friends about their experience and some of them had severe side effects as well.

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My father is spooked out and wary of getting vaccinated after seeing me and my brother suffering. He told he can’t risk any side effects, as he’s the only bread-earner of our family.

He couldn’t get vaccinated earlier because there were very limited vaccination centres for the 45+ age group at that time, and the nearest centre was around 30 km away from our home. Also, there were so much rush that he feared catching COVID at the centre itself.

Severe Side Effects After Vaccine Dose, No Answer on SII Helpline
(Photo Courtesy: Sahid Ali Khan)

Now, vaccines for 45+ age group aren’t easily available in our area. I don't know when my father will be able to get his first dose. I have been checking the Co-WIN portal every hour since the last four to five weeks, and it still shows no slots.

As for myself, I am scared for the second dose but we have to take it anyway as it is the only way to beat the virus. I only hope that there was more awareness about adverse effects, both at vaccination centres and by the government. Lastly, the SII helpline seems to be defunct.

(All ‘My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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