A frontline health worker, Promila Devi, 55, died from severe complications she acquired after being vaccinated for Covid-19 in Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur district.
This is the first such case of death involving an Anganwadi worker who had received a shot of vaccination in her home district 23 days earlier.
Confirming that she died, Dr Janak Raj, Senior Medical Superintendent, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla said the patient was shifted to IGMC from Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College, Tanda (Kangra) just a few hours before she died.
On January 23, she got the vaccine shot, but on February 6, she developed health problems. She was rushed to Tanda, where he was treated for her kidney failure, after initial care and evaluating her condition. She was screened for Covid-19 and was negative as well. She was on ventilator support as well. On Saturday, as things became precarious, she was taken to IGMC Shimla, he said.
State Health Secretary Amitabh Awasthi said an inquiry into the woman’s death had been ordered to find the exact cause of her death after the vaccination. The post-mortem report, which is awaited, will provide some clues about the loss of life.
Dr Archana Soni, Chief Medical Officer (Hamirpur) said that the death of the Anganwadi worker after vaccination is a matter of concern. The higher authorities in the government were judged for the situation.
Dr Janak Raj has released a letter from the Union’s Additional Secretary (Health) Manohar Agnani asking the state governments to take stern action after any death following the vaccination of frontline workers in the country.
Post mortem procedure will be a very important component
“There is a need that each death is investigated meticulously as per the National AEFI Guidelines. All health officials involved in the Vaccination program have already been made aware that Post Mortem procedure will be a very important component of the investigation” he wrote.
The post-mortem should be performed by a forensic specialist and pathologist at the nearest Medical College Hospital or district level. The post-mortem review process (external and internal) should be video-graphed.
Deceased tissue samples (viscera) should be sent to the designated medical college or forensic science laboratory for histopathological review in all cases and for toxicological analysis in particular cases for analysis and for early reporting.
Properly prepared post-mortem reports with histopathological review reports and toxicology analysis reports would help perform quality causality assessments of AEFI deaths.