The Centre on Wednesday said that there was “no signal of concern” regarding the use of Covishield vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and produced by Pune-based Serum Institute of India, reported PTI.
Several European countries have suspended the use of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine amid concerns of patients developing blood clots after inoculation.
On Wednesday, when asked about the countries banning the AstraZeneca product, NITI Aayog member VK Paul said that it has only been done as a precautionary measure.
“India’s own committee that looks at adverse effects is seized of this issue,” Paul said. “For the last few days, it is tracking the information that is available to us in a very systematic manner and again I assure you that we have no signal of concern in this regard. Therefore, clearly our vaccination programme with Covishield will go on with full vigour.”
India is also reviewing all serious side effects following coronavirus vaccination, a member of the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Task Force had said last week. But Dr NK Arora added that the panels set up to look into the adverse events were not focusing on any particular vaccine.
Addressing the press conference, Paul said that the World Health Organization was against the suspension of the vaccination process but as a precaution wants the investigation into the jabs to go on.
“The European medical agency says it is a precautionary measure and there is no data to believe, as of now, the causal relationship between the vaccine and the adverse events,” the NITI Aayog member said. “The assessment is still being done.”
Following reports of blood clots, Denmark, Norway and Iceland temporarily suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccines on March 11. Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Bulgaria and The Netherlands also followed suit. Other countries such as Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxemburg, however, did not completely suspend the use of the vaccine but stopped using just one batch.
On Monday, the WHO said that countries should continue using the coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca. WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan had said no causal link has yet been established between clotting and the vaccine.
The global health body had earlier too said that there was no reason to stop using the AstraZeneca vaccine. On March 14, AstraZeneca had said that a safety review of people inoculated with its coronavirus vaccine has shown no evidence of increased risk of blood clots.