India reports first death following COVID-19 vaccination
A 68-year-old man died due to an allergic reaction after receiving his vaccine shot on March 8, 2021.
A government panel has confirmed India’s first death linked to Covid-19 vaccination. The national Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) committee’s report says that a 68-year-old man died due to anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction, after receiving his vaccine shot on March 8, 2021.
The other cases of anaphylaxis occurred in two persons in their early 20s who were administered vaccines on January 19 and 16. Both patients recovered after a brief stay in the hospital, the report said.
“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. Most of the anaphylactic reactions occur during this period and prompt treatment prevents deaths,” Dr NK Arora, chairperson, National AEFI committee, told PTI.
The Committee examined five such cases that took place on February 5, eight cases on March 9 and 18 cases on March 31.
While three more deaths were found to be vaccine-related, the government panel has only confirmed the death of one person after the Covid vaccination.
Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something a person is allergic to, for instance, bee stings or peanuts. It leads to the affected person’s immune system releasing a torrent of chemicals that can cause the subject to go into shock. The person’s blood pressure drops suddenly and the airways narrow, blocking breathing. Among its symptoms are a rapid, weak pulse; a skin rash; and nausea and vomiting.
Overall, this committee has assessed 31 deaths. While 18 were classified as having 'inconsistent causal association to vaccination (coincidental - not linked to vaccination), seven were classified as indeterminate and two cases were found to be unclassifiable'.
"Unclassifiable events are events which have been investigated but there is not enough evidence for assigning a diagnosis due to missing crucial information.....When this relevant information becomes available, the case may be reconsidered for causality assessment," the AEFI committee report said.
The data from the union health ministry states that between January 16 and June 7, a total of 26,200 AEFI cases were reported.
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