A 56-year-old Gurugram healthcare worker who received the Covishield coronavirus vaccine last Saturday died today in the early hours. The cause of death is not yet clear, and the doctors said her body had been sent for an autopsy.
Rajwanti didn’t wake up in the morning, according to his relatives, and was taken to the Medanta hospital, dead. On the day it was given, she did not have any reaction to the vaccine, they said.
“Only after the post-mortem report comes, the cause of Rajwanti’s death will be known. Till then it will not be right to say that Rajwanti died due to the vaccine,” said Dr Virendra Yadav, Chief Medical Officer of Gurugram.
On Saturday, India launched one of the world’s largest vaccine services, using two locally-made vaccines, Oxford University-licensed Covaxin and Covishield, and the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.
First, in the queue, the vaccination drive will inoculate 3 crore healthcare and other front-line staff, followed by around 27 crore individuals older than 50 or found to be at high risk due to pre-existing medical conditions.
So far, authorities have not linked any deaths to the vaccine, although a few hundred “adverse reactions” have been reported. Since the vaccination programme started, more than 10 lakh individuals have been vaccinated so far.
A statement was released by the government on Friday, once again trying hard to fight hesitancy towards the two vaccines, stating that both shots are absolutely safe. Only a handful of states have been able to reach their goals for regular vaccination.
Several frontline and healthcare staff have demanded that they be permitted to select which vaccine they are receiving because Covaxin’s Phase 3 trials are still ongoing and its effectiveness has yet to be declared.