Centre allays concerns on Covishield; says both COVID-19 vaccines in India effective against UK and Brazilian variants

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New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI) Covishield is safe and there is 'no signal of concern' regarding it as of now, the Centre asserted on Wednesday amid reports of possible side-effects of the Oxford-AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine and its suspension in some European countries.

The AEFI committee which closely keeps track and records adverse events following immunisations has 'concluded that thrombosis events due to Covishield in India is not a problem'.

'There is no signal whatsoever for this concern. Covishield is safe, please proceed with its scale-up and uptake. We want to assure that there is no risk of blood clotting-related complications that were suspected in some nations with Covishield,' NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul said in response to a query at a press conference.

ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said that both Covishield and Covaxin are effective against the UK and the Brazilian variants.

He was asked if the vaccines that are being used right now in India are effective against the three new variants of concern -- the UK variant, South African variant and the Brazilian variant.

'It is well established by research studies in published literature that the vaccines available in our country -- both Covishield and Covaxin -- are effective against the UK and the Brazilian variants.

'The research work regarding the South African variant is ongoing at the moment,' he added.

Paul urged the people not to doubt the efficacy of the vaccines.

'Please don't spread doubt. As of today, these vaccines work on the good old virus as well as the new variants,' he said.

He appealed to people to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour and use vaccination as a tool to battle this second peak. PTI PLB UZM RT RT