‘Vaccine won’t kill you’: AIIMS Director allays fears

New Delhi: AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria on Monday allayed apprehensions about the coronavirus vaccines and assured that the side-effects will not result in death of the beneficiary.

The nationwide Covid vaccination drive had commenced on January 16 and a total of 447 adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) were reported during the first two days, with most of them being minor along with three cases of hospitalisation.

“Even if a person takes Crocin or Paracetamol, they may develop allergic reactions. There is nothing to worry about. There is no side-effect which would result in death,” Dr Guleria said.

He added, “Main side-effects are body ache, fever, pain at injection site which subside in 1-2 days and take place in less than 10 per cent of people. If the side-effects are severe, there could be skin rashes, nausea, difficulty in breathing.”

The AIIMS Director said that people must come forth to get vaccinated if they want India to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic, decrease the mortality rate, bring the economy back on track and reopen schools.

On January 16, moments after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the vaccination drive across the country, the jab was administered to the AIIMS chief on live telecast. Dr Guleria was the third person to take the shot in the institute.

“I have no side-effects. I am feeling perfectly alright,” he told the media, two days after taking the jab, in a bid to allay fears and apprehensions about the safety of the coronavirus vaccines.

The rollout of Oxford’s ‘Covishield’ vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, and Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’ began in the country amid apprehensions about the safety of the latter. Covaxin is currently undergoing late-stage clinical trials which are crucial to determining the efficacy of the shot.

‘Covaxin’ has been in the spotlight ever since it received the green signal from the drug regulator for restricted emergency use. The approval without adequate efficacy data drew flak from public health advocacy groups, researchers, scientists and activists.

Meanwhile, as many as 2,24,311 beneficiaries have received doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the last two days. Only 17,072 beneficiaries were vaccinated in six states on Day 2.


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