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Took AstraZeneca’s Covishield? Should I be worried? What are the risky side effects I shouldn’t ignore? Here are all the answers

Written by on May 8, 2024

In a shocking admission, AstraZeneca, the developer and manufacturer of the Covishield Covid vaccine, recently acknowledged the possibility of Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) as a side effect. This admission has sparked concerns regarding the safety of the vaccine.

AstraZeneca Admits Covishield Can Cause Rare Side Effect

Is Covishield risky?

Various social media posts have blamed the Indian government for permitting Covishield, alleging it puts people at risk of TTS. However, a fact-check by The Healthy Indian Project (THIP) reveals that while there is a risk of TTS, it’s exceptionally rare.

AstraZeneca Makes Big U-Turn, Admits Covishield Can Cause Rare Side Effects

What’s TTS?

Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) is a rare yet serious condition characterized by low platelet count and blood clot formation. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, and headaches. AstraZeneca has acknowledged a rare link between its vaccine and TTS.

Connection with Covishield

Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, is identical to AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Both are adenovirus vector vaccines.

Is TTS side effect only linked to Covishield?

TTS is not exclusive to AstraZeneca’s vaccine; it’s also associated with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. Previous research has highlighted this connection. Mild side effects, such as temporary fever and pain, are relatively common with most vaccines. However, these effects are short-lived. Medical professionals generally believe that the benefits of vaccines far outweigh their side effects.

Should you be worried?

To a certain extent, yes. However, there is no cause for alarm. Reported cases of TTS in India have been limited.
Additionally, the TTS is an exceptionally rare side effect, primarily observed after initial vaccination.

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Assertions suggesting that all Indians face imminent peril from TTS and attributing it to governmental failure are gross exaggerations and misleading.

As per the Healthy Indian Project (THIP), a member of the World Health Organization’s Vaccine Safety Net (VSN), quoted earlier, THIP fact-checked numerous claims circulating on social media regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and found out that vaccines were not harmful.

What should I do if I develop rare side effects?

Although vaccinations have proven highly effective and safe in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic, there exists a remote chance of rare adverse effects like TTS and VITT. Early detection and intervention are crucial for managing such cases.

Dr. Jayadevan, Co-Chairman of the National Indian Medical Association (IMA) Covid Task Force in Kerala, told ANI, “It’s a rare occurrence following specific types of vaccines and other causes.” Moreover, reported cases of TTS usually manifest within a few weeks of vaccination. Hence, it’s advisable to remain vigilant and consult a doctor if experiencing symptoms of TTS.

Mild side effects post-vaccination are common but temporary. Serious adverse effects are rare.

Source: Times of India

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