COVID-19: Of those vaccinated, 0.18 pc were adverse events, says govt

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New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) Of the total people vaccinated against COVID-19 so far, the government on Tuesday said 0.18 per cent were adverse events following immunisation, while 0.002 per cent had to be hospitalised which is fairly low.

Addressing a press conference, NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul said concerns about adverse effects and serious problems post immunisation as of now seem to be unfounded, negligible, insignificant and stressed that both the vaccines are safe.

He also said that it was sad that 'doctors, nurses and healthcare workers are refusing to get vaccinated' and requested the people to get the shots.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, 'As per the data available so far, only 0.18 per cent is the Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) and 0.002 is the percentage of the people who were hospitalized following immunization. These are fairly low, in fact lowest so far as we know in the world in the first three days.' He said India recorded the highest number of first day vaccinations for COVID-19 immunisation.

Bhushan said in India 2,07,229 people were vaccinated on the first day, while in the US 79,458 people were vaccinated, in the UK 19,700 and 73 were vaccinated in France on the first day.

'The important point here is that if we look at the first week figures then the US conducted vaccinations of 5,56,208 people so that number will already cross by day 3. In the UK, in the first seven days 1,37,897 were vaccinated, 516 people were vaccinated in France in the first week and in Russia 52,000 people were vaccinated in the first week. So these are the comparative figures for you and we have just started so we will pick up speed,' he said.

Paul said the concerns about adverse effects and serious problems as of now seem to be unfounded, negligible, insignificant, and the data shows that 'we are in a situation of lot of comfort'.

'We would like to reassure you with data that you have seen that these two vaccines are safe, they do not excite undue reactogenicity and are being accepted increasingly. These two vaccines are highly immunogenic,' he said.

'We are not fulfilling our societal responsibility if a vaccine assigned to you is not being taken. The whole world is clamouring for a vaccine. It is sad that doctors, nurses and healthcare workers are refusing to get vaccinated. I request you to please accept the vaccine,' he said.

Bhushan said nine states, including Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, are among the better performing states and union territories with over 70 per cent coverage.

'Better performing states in COVID-19 vaccination coverage include Lakshadeep (89.3 per cent), Sikkim (85.7 per cent), Odisha (82.6 per cent), Telangana (81.1 per cent) , UP (71.4 per cent), Rajasthan (71.3 per cent),' he said.

He said the five states of Kerala, Maharashtra, UP, Karnataka and West Bengal account for 72 per cent of total COVID-19 active cases.

Bhushan said the daily number of deaths is less than 140 after 8 months and declining, and the cumulative positivity rate has been recorded at 5.63 per cent, while the positivity rate last week was 1.99 per cent.

'There is a constant decline in cumulative positivity and weekly positivity rate,' he said. PTI PLB UZM AAR AAR