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​Government Panel Confirms First Death in India Linked to Covid-19 Vaccination

Representational image.

Representational image.

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.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an Adverse Event Following Immunization is any untoward medical occurrence following immunisation that does not necessarily have a causal relationship to the vaccine. The adverse event may be any unfavourable or unintended sign, abnormal laboratory finding, symptom, or disease.

The government panel report shows that three anaphylaxis cases were found to be vaccine product related. The two other cases (ages 21 and 22) were administered vaccines on January 16 and 19 and both of them recovered after being hospitalised.

The cases of Adverse Events Following Immunization after Covid-19 vaccination were just 0.01 per cent of the total doses administered and fatalities were even fewer, adding weight to the conclusion that these are extremely rare events.

After assessing 31 serious AEFIs, the panel has confirmed one death, of the 68-year-old person. The vaccine received was Covishield.

“After a thorough investigation it was found that one death has been linked to anaphylaxis post vaccination," a government official told CNN-News18.

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.

A total of 18 of the 31 deaths investigated by the government committee were classified as having an inconsistent causal association with vaccination, coincidental but not linked to vaccination. Seven deaths were classified as indeterminate while two cases were found as unclassifiable.

“Unclassifiable events are those investigated but not found enough evidence for concluding a diagnosis due to a missing crucial information, when the relevant information becomes available, the case may be reconsidered for causality assessment," the 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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