People with histories of allergic reactions should consult doctors before getting inoculated
The first 30 minutes after vaccination are crucial to detecting and countering any severe side effects, the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 (NTAC) said on Monday.
Every person who receives a vaccine shot should be kept in observation for 30 mins and arrangements for treatment of severe side effects must be made at hospitals and health centres, the committee said.
According to health professionals, most side effects of vaccines are minor, such as swelling, fever or headaches and pain. However, a small number of patients may suffer from severe side effects, such as anaphylaxis, if they have allergic reactions.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have advised people not to get the inoculation if they are allergic to any of the ingredients in the Covid-19 vaccines, and to consult doctors before getting the shot if they have histories of allergic reactions.
Preparations in Bangladesh
The Bangladesh government plans to provide vaccines from the first week of February and the Health Department has taken necessary preparations to deploy a team of two vaccinators and four volunteers at every vaccination centre.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Monday said all the vaccines had side effects in some form, and people should accept the risks and prepare accordingly.
“Various countries are reporting adverse side effects of Covid-19 vaccines, but the government will arrange treatment for anyone having side effects from the vaccines,” he said.
“The inoculations will take place at hospitals so that immediate treatment is possible if side-effects emerge,” he added.
What more can be done?
As of Sunday, at least 447 adverse reactions had been reported from Covid-19 vaccines after 224,301 people received the first doses in India. However, only three of the reactions required hospitalization.
Since the start of the vaccination campaign in Norway at the end of December, the country has registered 33 deaths among the elderly who received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine. However, the country says about 45 people die every day at nursing homes in Norway and most of those who died after the first dose were already advanced in age, frail and suffering from other serious illnesses.
“There are two types of side effects after vaccination, but these may not be directly related to the vaccination or immunization process,” said noted virologist Professor Nazrul Islam, who is a member of NTAC.
“India has similarities with our country's genetic configuration. Depending on human genetic configuration, people in different countries may have different reactions. But we can look at India as a guide,” said Nazrul.
Reactions include fever, headache and nausea.
“We are still thinking that there may be serious side effects for those who are prone to allergies, such as convulsions,” said Professor Nazrul Islam, highlighting the need to administer vaccinations at hospitals and health centres.
“Only the first generation Covid-19 vaccine has been made. It needs to be further refined. This is also the case with all other vaccines, as each vaccine has some side effects, he added.
DGHS Additional Director General Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora said mobile medical teams would be deployed near vaccination centres to tackle any situation that might emerge following an adverse impact on any vaccine recipient.
IEDCR adviser Mushtaq Hussain said vaccine recipients would have to remain under observation for 30 minutes at the vaccination centre to ensure they did not have any severe side effects.