Man dies hours after taking covid jab in north Kashmir’s Handwara

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A 70-year-old man has died, hours after he was administered COVID vaccine jab in Handwara of north-Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Saturday.

A close relative of the deceased told  that the septuagenarian— Ghulam Mohammad Ganie son of Habibullah Ganie of Haril Mawer— was inoculated this afternoon. However, following some ‘complications’, he subsequently died at around 3 P.M.

Village-Head of the area said that the person was administered the vaccine at around 12:40 p.m., at Serial number 67, following which he normally went home and took his meals. The elderly man, as per the Village-Head, had taken his sheep to a nearby field for grazing, where he felt dizziness and went to fetch some water from a house.

During the course of time, he fell unconscious and was removed to a nearby hospital. However the doctors there declared him as brought dead on arrival, he said.

Meanwhile when contacted Dr. Lateef who was part of the drive told that the person was vaccinated this afternoon by a team of doctors and kept him under observation for AEFI (adverse event following immunization).

The elderly person didn’t show any complications during the time, he said. “However we have learned that he has died at 3 PM”, he said.

“As mandated by the protocol we are supposed to keep a patient under observation for half an hour, and he didn’t show any signs during that time”, he said adding that “There may be some underlying reasons causing his death.”

He said that in two days, 250 doses—(100 on March 26 and 150 on March 27) were administered and “none of the persons vaccinated showed any complication.”

On Tuesday, Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey told Rajya Sabha that as on March 16, a total of 89 deaths of vaccinated persons have been reported following COVID-19 vaccine vaccination. “None of the deaths so far have been causally attributed to COVID-19 vaccination as per the current evidence,” he said.

To a questions on authority responsible, the MoS said adverse event following immunization (AEFI) are monitored through a well-structured and robust AEFI surveillance system.

“Causality Assessment of all serious and severe AEFIs are done by the designated AEFI committee to determine if AEFI is related to vaccine or vaccination process or otherwise,” he said as per the reply, a copy of which lies with GNS.

Adequate measures, he said, have been put in place to manage AEFIs like availability of anaphylaxis kits at each vaccination site, immediate referral to AEFI management center and observation of vaccine recipients for 30 minutes at session site for any adverse events so as to take timely corrective measure. “Also the AEFI management of such cases are provided free of cost treatment in Public Health Facilities,” he said. (GNS)

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