What Is India Doing About Astra Zeneca Oxford Vaccine?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has shown many more advantages of using the Astra Zeneca Oxford vaccine that India is now taking the vaccine candidate back on its list of options. India already has as many as 6 vaccine candidates the citizens can choose from. Astra Zeneca Oxford vaccine had run into controversy over its usage leading to blood clots in certain patients.
Last week, a number of countries suspended its use out of fear of side effects. Many European countries ordered the discontinuation of the vaccine, but India is going ahead with the Oxford vaccine that is being produced in India as well.
In India, the vaccine is being produced under the name of Covishield and is being developed at Serum Institute of India. NITI Aayog member health, Dr. V.K. Paul has confirmed that “there has been no ‘signal of concern’ about the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and inoculations will continue with “full vigour.”
Strangely, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has already requested countries to keep using the vaccine, confirming that there is no connection to clotting as a side-effect. Sweden, one of those European nations that was banking on herd immunity was the latest to stop the use of the vaccine two days ago.
Currently, the following countries have halted the use of the medicine, Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Bulgaria, Ireland, Netherlands, Indonesia, Portugal, Slovenia, France, Germany, and Italy.
Meanwhile, The Democratic Republic of Congo, due to start administering the vaccine, postponed its campaign citing “precautionary measures”. Similarly, Venezuela’s vice-president also said the country would not approve the AstraZeneca vaccine for use, citing “complications” those inoculated had experienced.
Some countries had reported that senior citizens after the administering of the vaccine had reported low blood platelet count. In response, both the Indian side and AstraZeneca company itself are investigating the causes of deaths or side effects, if any. Meanwhile, India has said that it has no intentions to single out the vaccine candidate unless it has concrete evidence in its own turf.