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    Focus on management of adverse events in COVID-19 vaccination

    Focus on management of adverse events in COVID-19 vaccination 

    New Delhi. The operation guidelines prepared by the Central Government for the COVID-19 vaccination programme currently underway,provides a detailed roadmap to ensure a robust surveillance system to monitor adverse events post immunizationand better understand the safety profile of the vaccines.

    The recommended measures take into account the need to rapidly detect and promptly respond to adverse reactions since otherwise it can undermine confidence in the vaccine and immunization programme as a whole. Programme managers have been advised to be extra careful since the process involved vaccination of a large population within a short period.

    It was emphasised that immunization errors that might lead to adverse events must be prevented at all costs through regular and intensive monitoring and supervision, and strict adherence to proper vaccine / diluenthandling procedures and injection practices. It was stressed that all deaths and hospitalizationsshould be reported and investigated immediately.

    An adverse event following immunization is defined as any untoward medical occurrence which followsvaccination including those that do not necessarily have a causal relationship with the usage of the vaccine. It may be any unfavourable or unintended disease, symptom, sign or abnormal laboratoryfinding. The reported events can either be true adverse eventsas a result of the vaccine orimmunization process, or coincidental events that are not due to the vaccine or immunization process butare temporally associated with immunization.

    The guideline particularly highlighted the possibilities of errors in the handling of the vaccines. It urges that special attention be given to ensure that the vaccines / diluents are stored separately and that there should be screening for contraindications of the vaccine.

    All fixed session sites should have emergency kits to handle adverse events, with the vaccinators properly trained to suspectsigns and symptoms and take immediate remedial measures. In the case of outreach session sites, they should be linked to an identified adverse event management centre to provideimmediate treatment for serious cases.Adequate transportation should be available to transfer serious cases tothe nearest identified adverse event management centre or health facility. The vaccinators at the session sites mustbe aware of all relevant contact numbers like ambulance services.

    It also urged that States and UTs should identify at least one adverse event management centre in each block. Further, it was specified that State and district authorities should proactively reach out to all health careservice providers such as medical colleges, hospitals (public, autonomous and private) and individualpractitioners and sensitize them to report any adverse event.

    INA NEWS(Initiate News Agency) 

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