Man Dies Hours After Vaccine Shot In Handwara

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Srinagar: An elderly man from north Kashmir’s Handwara on Saturday died hours after he was administered a coronavirus vaccine jab by the health department officials.

A close relative of the deceased said that the septuagenarian— Ghulam Mohammad Ganie son of Habibullah Ganie of Haril Mawer— was inoculated Saturday afternoon. However following some ‘complications’, he subsequently died at around 3 pm.

Village-head of the area said that the elderly man was administered the vaccine at around 12:40 pm, at serial number 67, following which he normally went home and took his meals. The elderly man, as per the village-head, had taken his sheep to a nearby field for grazing, where he felt dizziness and went to fetch some water from a house.

During the course of time, he felt unconscious and was removed to a nearby hospital. However the doctors there declared him dead on arrival, he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Lateef who was part of the drive told a local news agency GNS that the person was vaccinated Saturday afternoonby a team of doctors and kept him under observation for AEFI (adverse event following immunization).

The elderly person didn’t show any complications during the time, he said. “However we have learnt that he has died at 3 pm”, he said.

“As mandated by the protocol we are supposed to keep a patient under observation for half an hour, and he didn’t show any signs during that time”, he said adding that “There may be some underlying reasons causing his death.”

He said that in two days, 250 doses—(100 on March 26 and 150 on March 27) were administered and “none of the persons vaccinated showed any complication.”

On Tuesday, Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey told Rajya Sabha that as on March 16, a total of 89 deaths of vaccinated persons have been reported following COVID-19 vaccine vaccination. “None of the deaths so far have been causally attributed to COVID-19 vaccination as per the current evidence,” he said.

To a question on authority responsible, the MoS said adverse events following immunization (AEFI) are monitored through a well-structured and robust AEFI surveillance system.

“Causality Assessment of all serious and severe AEFIs are done by the designated AEFI committee to determine if AEFI is related to the vaccine or vaccination process or otherwise,” he said as per the reply.

Adequate measures, he said, have been put in place to manage AEFIs like availability of anaphylaxis kits at each vaccination site, immediate referral to AEFI management center and observation of vaccine recipients for 30 minutes at session site for any adverse events so as to take timely corrective measure. “Also the AEFI management of such cases are provided free of cost treatment in Public Health Facilities,” he said. (With GNS inputs)

J&K Reports 271 New Corona Cases

Meanwhile Jammu and Kashmir recorded 271 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, which includes 58 travellers, taking the infection tally to 1,29,684, while one fatality pushed the death toll in the union territory to 1,985, officials said.

Seventy-five of the fresh cases were from Jammu division and 196 from Kashmir division, they said.

The officials said Srinagar district recorded the highest number of 118 new cases, which includes 39 travellers, followed by 56 in Jammu district and 42 in Baramulla.

Four districts did not report any cases, while 12 others detected new cases in single digits.

The number of active cases, which has been rising steadily over the past week, has now reached 1,813 in the union territory, while 1,25,886 patients have recovered so far, the officials said.

The fatality was reported from Kashmir valley, they added.

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