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May 10, 2024

Doctors Call for Review of Covid Vaccines Amid Covishield Side Effects Concerns

In the aftermath of AstraZeneca’s admission in a UK court regarding rare blood clot side effects associated with its Covid vaccine, concerns over the safety of Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, have escalated. A group of doctors, rallying under the Awaken India Movement (AIM), has urged the government to reevaluate all Covid vaccines, emphasizing the need for rigorous scrutiny of their science, commercialization, and implementation of active surveillance mechanisms to promptly identify vaccine adverse events.

During a recent press conference, doctors expressed deep apprehension over vaccine safety, highlighting the low awareness of vaccine injuries in India. Thousands of cases, particularly abnormalities in menstrual cycles among women, were reported post-vaccination and confirmed as side effects in a study published in September 2022.

Dr. Kothari from AIM revealed the organization’s efforts in documenting Covid vaccine-related deaths and disabilities since 2021, yet lamented the government’s lack of response to investigate these incidents. AIM demanded compensation for all vaccine victims and their families, proposing the involvement of vaccine manufacturers in the compensation mechanism. They also called for the establishment of fast-track and vaccine courts to ensure swift justice for the affected.

Moreover, Dr. Mittal stressed the importance of active surveillance and early treatment protocols to mitigate vaccine adverse events and save lives. She reiterated the group’s call to review the science behind Covid vaccines and audit their commercialization processes to enhance transparency and safety.

The withdrawal of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, known as Vaxzevria in Europe and Covishield in India, has further fueled concerns. AstraZeneca’s decision to globally withdraw the vaccine was attributed to a surplus of updated vaccines and concerns over rare side effects. In response, Serum Institute of India ceased manufacturing additional doses of Covishield in December 2021, affirming that all rare side effects, including thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), were disclosed in the packaging insert.

The AIM’s call for comprehensive review and stringent surveillance mechanisms reflects growing concerns regarding vaccine safety and the need for transparent communication between manufacturers, regulators, and the public. As the world battles the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring the safety and efficacy of vaccines remains paramount.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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