Be prepared for the side effects of a vaccine, states said

Bad events after immunization are a critical aspect: Ministry to States, UT

The Union Ministry of Health on Tuesday did not rule out the possibility of an adverse event after immunization whenever a Covid-19 vaccine program is launched and called on the States and Union Territories to strengthen the mechanism at the district level to address these.

“Adverse events after immunization (AEFI) are a critical aspect. Even during universal immunization programs that last for decades, some adverse effects are seen in children and pregnant women after vaccination.

“So, we cannot deny the possibility of an adverse event when the vaccine against Covid-19 begins. The countries where inoculation has already begun, especially in the UK, adverse events occurred on the first day. So it is essential that States and Union Territories also prepare for this, ”Union Secretary-General Rajesh Bhushan told a press release here.

AEFI’s fear is realistic because it is an adult vaccine. “Our AEFI system has targeted children and women and these vaccinations take place in a certain way, starting from hospitals and then into the communities.

“But when we are dealing with adults, some practical aspects need to be addressed. Second, these vaccinations are on many new platforms that bring complexity. If one gives EUA (emergency authorization use), it demands more responsibility, ”added Dr. VK Paul, a member of Niti Aayog (Health).

Detailed instructions on infection prevention and control practices during vaccination and administration of mild, severe, severe (AEFI) have been issued, he said.

About 29,000 cold chain points, 240 inlet refrigerators, 70 inlets, 45,000 ice refrigerators, 41,000 refrigerators and 300 solar refrigerators will be used to store Covid-19 vaccines.

“All necessary means of vaccination have been handed over to the states,” Bhushan said.

“States have been asked to identify at least one AEFI management center in each block. PHCs, CHCs, district hospitals, private health facilities or any other fixed health facility with doctors and para-medical staff can be identified as AEFI management centers,” he said .

Speaking on AEFI, Dr Paul said, in addition to the importance given at the government level to treatment, saving, reporting and action in such cases, vaccine manufacturers conduct a Phase IV Clinical Trial or Post-Market Surveillance where they monitor and track the effects of the vaccine systematically after its delivery.

Responding to an AEFI question about a Covid-19 vaccine, Dr. Paul said, “This is an adult vaccine. Our AEFI system has been targeted at children and women and those vaccinations take place in a certain way, starting from hospitals and then into the communities.

“But when we are dealing with adults, some practical aspects need to be addressed. Second, these vaccinations are on many new platforms that bring complexity. Furthermore, if EUA gets, it demands more responsibility. Lastly there are always new aspects, side effects, situations that need to be remembered. “Above all, many beneficiaries and target groups need to be treated for a short period in a missionary regime. Therefore, it is necessary to build on the standard principles of AEFI and make it specific to the fuller dimension of the requirements of this particular set of vaccines,” he said. added.

In a recent communication to States / Union Territories, the Ministry called for the participation of more than 300 medical colleges and other tertiary care hospitals across the country to treat adverse events or cases of side effects on people after vaccination. In addition, states have been told to prepare neurologists, cardiologists, experts in respiratory medicine, obstetrics, gynecologists and pediatricians to treat post-vaccine side effects.

The Union Ministry of Health, according to the letter, recommended that the membership of state AEFI committees be reviewed to include neurologists, cardiologists. specialists in respiratory medicine who can recognize such events and differentiate them from events related to vaccines or vaccinations.

States were also told to carry out the existing adverse events after immune committees or AEFI committees. States have been told to include drug inspectors in these AEFI commissions to help investigate the cause of side effects due to vaccination, sources said citing the letter.

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