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Vaccines off to smooth start, cross 2-lakh mark; dip in active cases

Of the 2,24,301 beneficiaries from the priority group who received their doses by the end of two days of the nationwide vaccination programme against Covid-19, only 447 reported adverse events following immunisation (AEFI), the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday. Of the 447, only three required hospitalisation, with two of them being discharged.

On Sunday, only 553 sessions were conducted across the country, with 17,072 beneficiaries being vaccinated, the ministry said.

Spelling out details of the AEFI cases reported after the first two days, Dr Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said, “Most AEFI reported in the country are minor: fever, headache, and nausea; only three of them required hospitalisation… One has been discharged from Northern Railway, Delhi, in 24 hours; the second beneficiary has been discharged from AIIMS, Delhi; and the third is under observation at AIIMS Rishikesh and is doing fine.”

The Health Ministry reiterated that the adverse events “may or may not” be related to the vaccines or vaccination process and that “protocols are also in place for systematic investigation”.

“Majority of the AEFI are minor in nature: pain, mild swelling at the injection site, mild fever, body ache, nausea, giddiness and mild allergic reaction like rashes. Only a few AEFI may require hospitalisation, which is classified under serious AEFI. Protocols are in place for reporting, immediate case management at vaccination session site, transportation and hospitalisation and further care of such cases,” Agnani said.

On Sunday, for the first time, active cases declined below 2 per cent of the total cases reported in the country. According to data released by the ministry, the country’s active case load stood at 2,08,826, which is 1.98 per cent of the total cases.

For the last 10 days, daily new cases have been below the 20,000-mark.

Kerala continues to report the highest daily new cases. On Sunday, the state reported 5,960 new cases; followed by Maharashtra (2,910) and Tamil Nadu (610).

According to the latest data, in the last 24 hours, five states have witnessed a drop of at least 200 cases: Madhya Pradesh (-433), Uttar Pradesh (-419), Rajasthan (-322), and, Andhra Pradesh (-212).

Significantly, the daily case fatality rate continues to register a steady decline: in the last 23 days, India has reported less than 300 daily Covid deaths.

The Health Ministry said that today being Sunday, only six states conducted vaccination sessions: Andhra Pradesh (308), Tamil Nadu (165), Karnataka (64), Arunachal Pradesh (14), Kerala (1) and Manipur (1).

“A meeting was held with all states today for a review of progress, identification of bottlenecks, and to plan corrective actions as the vaccination programme moves ahead,” the Ministry said.

The Ministry also gave out details of vaccination schedules finalised by states. While Andhra Pradesh has decided to hold sessions six days a week and Mizoram will do so on five days a week, 23 states and UTs will hold sessions on four days, three states on three days, and three other states, including Uttar Pradesh, will hold sessions only two days a week.

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