Amid rising concerns on the Covishield's dangerous side effects in European countries, India has decided to review vaccine-related deaths and hospitalisations.
On Saturday, Dr NK Arora, a member of the National Task Force on COVID-19, informed India Today that all deaths and hospitalisations following the immunisation would be re-examined.
On the other hand, Arora had claimed that Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield is not being singled out in this situation. He said that they would understand more about the situation after examining all the deaths and hospitalisations.
The announcement came after several countries such as Denmark, Norway, and Iceland had restricted the use of Covishield, due to concerns that it could cause dangerous blood clots in some people.
The vaccine's safety had been defended by AstraZeneca, an Anglo-Swedish corporation that developed it with Oxford University. In India, the vaccine, AZD1222, called 'Covishield', was manufactured by the Serum Institute of India in Pune (SII).
The Covishield vaccine was approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). On Friday, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist of the WHO, said that clots identified after vaccination are not necessarily related to vaccines.
"It may have nothing to do with it and that it has been detected because the vaccinated are closely monitored," she was quoted as saying.
"When investigations into the AZ vaccine are done, rates of clotting events must be compared to the background rates of such events to see if there are more than would otherwise be expected," she said.
According to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the United Kingdom, nearly 10 million recipients of AstraZeneca-Oxford and Pfizer vaccinations had been tested. In conclusion, none of the two COVID-19 vaccines was linked to any dangerous side effects.
Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, former President of the Indian Medical Association(IMA), stated that 10 million vaccine doses against COVID-19 were an extremely large number. This gives a high degree of confidence that such adverse outcomes are not the result of vaccination.
On Friday, the WHO said there was no reason to stop using the vaccine, which had been suspended in several countries due to concerns over blood clotting. The WHO's global advisory committee is currently reviewing the reports on vaccine safety.