89 Deaths Reported Following Covid Vaccination Till March 16, But None Attributed to Vaccine: Govt

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A total of 89 deaths have been reported following COVID-19 vaccination till March 16, but none of the fatalities has been attributed to the inoculation so far, Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday. In written reply to a question, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said that adverse events following immunization (AEFI) are monitored through a well-structured and robust surveillance system.

Causality assessment of all serious and severe AEFI cases is done by a designated committee to determine if an adverse event is related to the vaccine or vaccination process or otherwise, he said. Adequate measures have been put in place to manage AEFI cases like availability of anaphylaxis kits at each vaccination site, immediate referral to AEFI management centre and observation of vaccine recipients for 30 minutes at session site so as to take timely corrective measure.

Also, the AEFI management of such cases are provided free-of-cost treatment in public health facilities. "As on March 16, 2021, a total of 89 deaths of vaccinated persons have been reported…. None of the deaths so far have been causally attributed to COVID-19 vaccination as per the current evidence," Choubey said.

Responding to another question on the agency which developed CoWIN app being used for vaccine development and whether the code has been open-sourced, Choubey said the application has been developed by the Ministry of Health with technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The code used for developing Co-WIN are open source and all concerned APIs are available on 'API Setu' initiative of the Government of India, he said.

At time of registration for vaccination, the beneficiaries' name, gender, year of birth and government photo ID number are collected. "This data is entered by the beneficiary themselves at time of registration for vaccination and no agency is authorised to collect this data. The personal data of beneficiaries of COVID-19 vaccine conforms to data security and confidentiality norms," the minister stated.