Adverse events following immunisation low, 2 deaths unrelated: Govt
New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said that a total of 4,54,049 people have been inoculated since the commencement of the vaccination drive, and only 0.18 per cent of beneficiaries developed adverse events following immunisation, while 0.002 per cent were hospitalised.
"The adverse events following immunisation are fairly low. In fact, these are the lowest in the world in the first three days. In India, we have an extremely robust system of adverse events following immunisation reporting and management," said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a bid to allay fears and vaccine hesitancy.
According to the government's data, 580 adverse events have been reported so far, out of which seven required hospitalisation.
"Only 0.18 per cent of beneficiaries developed adverse events following immunisation, while 0.002 percent were hospitalised," the Health Secretary said.
"There are mild AEFI, severe AEFI, and serious AEFI. In India, anxiety or hysteria is also recorded. We must dispel this notion that AEFI means that people have lost consciousness and were hospitalised. If post-vaccination, I have a crying bout, even that is captured. It may add to the number but it subsides."
He also said that deaths of two men in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka following immunisation were found to be not related to the vaccination.
A 52-year-old man from Uttar Pradesh's Moradabad district died due to cardiopulmonary disease one day after being vaccinated, while a 43-year-old resident of Karnataka's Bellary died due to cardiopulmonary failure two days later.
The nation-wide vaccination drive had kick-started on January 16.
Bhushan said that the country had vaccinated the highest number of people in the whole world on the first day. On the first day, India had inoculated 2.07 lakh people, while the UK and the US had given it to only 19,700 and 79,458 people, respectively.
Besides this, the Union Health Ministry lauded nine states for their performance in vaccinating people. It included Lakshadweep, which vaccinated 89.3 percent of people of the target set by it, followed by Sikkim, Odisha, Andaman and Nicobar, Telangana, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
Three states and UTs -- Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Punjab -- vaccinated less than 40 per cent of people out of the total target.
The Health Secretary, however, assured: "We have just started and would pick up speed."