Bharat Biotech, India’s in-house coronavirus vaccine developer, advised people with weakened immunity and other medical conditions such as allergies, fever, or a bleeding disorder to consult a doctor before getting the shot — and to avoid it if possible.
According to the company, those receiving vaccinations should disclose their medical history, current medications, and any history of allergies. It stated that severe allergic reactions in vaccine recipients may include difficulty breathing, facial and throat swelling, rapid heartbeat, skin rashes, dizziness, and weakness.
The Bharat Biotech vaccine sparked controversy when the Indian government approved its use without conclusive evidence of its efficacy in preventing COVID-19. Tens of thousands of people have received the vaccination in the last three days, after India began vaccination of health care workers last weekend in what is likely the world’s largest coronavirus vaccination campaign.
India vaccinated 148,266 people Monday, bringing the country’s total to 381,305, according to the health ministry.
The Indian government hopes to vaccinate 300 million people. Thirty million doctors, nurses, and other front-line workers will be the first recipients, followed by 270 million people who are either over the age of 50 or have illnesses that make them susceptible to COVID-19.
India approved the emergency use of two vaccines on January 4, one developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, a UK-based pharmaceutical company, and the other by Bharat Biotech. The regulator took the action without disclosing information about the efficacy of the Indian vaccine.
Bharat Biotech has not yet published data on the vaccine’s efficacy, but has stated that it is following clinical trial guidelines.
The regulator maintains that the vaccine is safe and approved it on the grounds that it may be more effective in combating a new variant of the coronavirus discovered in the United Kingdom. The regulator and the company have stated that efficacy data will be published following the conclusion of ongoing late clinical trials.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is being administered to the majority of hospitals in India. However, turnout has been low, particularly in hospitals that use the Bharat Biotech vaccine, health officials said.
Many doctors have been hesitant to get the Bharat Biotech vaccine in New Delhi hospitals that have been administering it.
The vaccination campaign began at a time when coronavirus infections were declining dramatically and much of life was returning to normal.
With more than 10.5 million confirmed cases, India is second only to the United States. With over 152,000 reported deaths, the country ranks third behind the United States and Brazil.