Protocols have been established to manage adverse reactions – minor, severe or severe – to the coronavirus vaccine, the government said in a news briefing on Tuesday night, admitting that there is always the “possibility of an adverse event” after immunization.
The government said the rules – launched as part of vaccination guidelines that include limiting vaccinations per session and 30 minutes of on-site monitoring after injection – are necessary because the vaccines were designed for adults, while existing mechanisms were for children. .
“Post-immunization adverse events is a critical issue. Even during universal immunization, which has been going on for decades, some side effects are observed in children and pregnant women. So we cannot deny the possibility of an adverse event,” the Health Secretary said. Rajesh Bhushan said, adding that side effects have already been reported in countries where vaccination has begun.
“So it is essential that the states and territories of the union prepare for this as well,” he added.
As part of the adverse event mechanisms, state governments will set up at least one AEFI (adverse event after immunization) center in each block.
In addition, primary care facilities, community health centers and private medical facilities would also function as AEFI management centers, with vaccination data from each session to be uploaded using the government’s digital platform Co-WIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network).
Other measures include requiring states to avoid mixing different vaccines as much as possible.
The government has also set up a multi-level mechanism to monitor the momentum of vaccination at various levels and said 36 states and territories of the union have already had more than 600 meetings.
“There are a large number of beneficiaries that need to be addressed in a short period of time, so it is a bigger challenge,” said Dr. VK Paul, a member of the NITI Aayog government think tank.
Dr. Paul also said that the government was aware of reports of fungal infections in patients recovered by Covid at a hospital in Delhi. “New things are constantly being discovered with the disease,” he said, adding that doctors at the unit will take the necessary measures.
Today’s press release also discussed the issue of cold chain management – crucial, because the vaccine developed by the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer must be maintained at -70 degrees Celsius to maintain its effectiveness.
The government said guidelines had been issued for the management of cold chains and cold spots at the end of the chain (or vaccination delivery sites. 240 coolers, 70 freezers, 45,000 ice refrigerators, 41,000 freezers and 300 Solar refrigerators will be used at vaccination sites and storage centers.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be offered first to health care workers, front-line workers and people over the age of 50, followed by people under the age of 50 with associated comorbidities and, finally, the remaining population on the basis of epidemiology of the disease and vaccine availability.
With input from PTI