On the third day of the mass vaccination programme against COVID-19, the government on Monday (January 18) said 3.8 lakh people have been inoculated so far of which adverse reactions have been seen in 580 cases. Of the 580, seven have been hospitalised although the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) claims none of the cases is severe adverse events following immunisation (AEFI). While two people, who were vaccinated on January 16, have died, the Union Health ministry attributes the cause of death to cardiopulmonary disease, which is not linked to the vaccine.
One of the deceased, 46-year-old Mahipal Singh, a wardboy in a Moradabad-based government hospital, had received the vaccine shot 24 hours before. He died on Sunday. Post-mortem report by a board of three doctors said he died due to cardiopulmonary disease.
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“There were pockets of pus in the lungs and an enlarged heart. The death is not related to the vaccination,” Dr Manohar Agnani, additional secretary, MoHFW told Indian Express.
However, Mahipal Singh’s son Vishal has alleged that his father’s condition worsened after he was given the vaccine and has held the government responsible for his father’s death.
The post-mortem report on the death of the second person – a 43-year-old man from Bellary in Karnataka who died on Monday, two days after the vaccination – is awaited.
Agnani attributed the cause of death to anterior wall infarction with cardiopulmonary failure. The post-mortem will be conducted at Vijaynagar Institute of Medical Sciences, Bellary on Tuesday.
Giving further clarification on the death, Karnataka health minister on Monday said the health worker had a history of diabetes and co-morbidity and died of a massive heart attack. He had shown no adverse symptoms after being administered the vaccine on Saturday, Sudhakar said.
“The highest level of treatment was provided, but he could not be saved. None of the other healthcare workers who took the vaccine from the same vial had any adverse events,” officials told IE.
According to the health ministry 1,48,266 people were vaccinated across 25 states and Union territories on the third day of the inoculation drive on Monday.
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While in most states each vaccination centre is catering to a total of 100 people per day, the number is 30 in Telangana.
The first phase of the vaccination drive, which aims to inoculate 3 lakh health workers, was rolled out on Saturday.