NEW DELHI: The Centre has decided to make public the findings of probes into all serious adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) for Covid-19 from next week to build confidence around the vaccines, as they have received less than enthusiastic response from beneficiaries so far.
Ever since the rollout of the vaccines a week ago, five deaths have been reported, but their AEFI reports tied them to comorbidities and not the vaccine. But the fatalities seem to have exacerbated the vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers. “It is an attempt to improve communication with the targeted groups and build trust,” said a health ministry official.
A member in the ICMR’s ethics panel explained that as the rollout advances, particularly in those who are in their 70s and 80s, there could be more such deaths. “People need to understand that because there is a rigorous AEFI tracking mechanism, it will capture all of these deaths,” he said.
“There is a background death rate in all age groups — a U-shaped curve, high between 0 to 1 years, then falls, the lowest in the 20 to 40 age group, then rises after 40, and sharply rises in older age groups. The AEFI plan will capture all these deaths among vaccine recipients,” he added.
PM dispels fears
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he went by the decision of scientists on the vaccine rollout, adding it was not a political call, and obliquely referred to the controversy around the nod to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin