The number of bleeding and clotting events following a Covid vaccine injection in India – of which 26 have been identified – are “miniscule” and “in line with the expected number of diagnoses”, a panel on AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) told the Union Health Ministry Monday afternoon.
The panel said it had studied 498 (of 700) “serious and severe events” and found that 26 had been reported as “potential thromboembolic events”, referring to the potentially fatal formation of a blood clot that could break loose and be carried by the blood stream to block another vessel.
The panel further said Covishield – the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine linked by some studies to clotting issues – reported fewer than 0.61 cases per million doses administered.
It was noted that this figure was far below the four cases per million doses reported by the United Kingdom’s health regulator, and the 10 cases per million doses reported by Germany.
The panel also said Covaxin – the vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech – reported “no potential thromboembolic events” following administering of the drug.
“It is important to know that thromboembolic events keep occurring in the general population… background and scientific literature suggests this risk is almost 70 per cent less in persons of South and South East Asian descent in comparison to those from European descent,” the panel said.
Nevertheless, the ministry has advised people to be aware of suspected thromboembolic events.
Symptoms to watch out for include breathlessness, pain in the chest or limbs, pinhead-sized red spots or bruising of skin in areas other than the injection site and persistent abdominal pain.