Disclosed all rare to very rare side-effects of Covid vaccine ‘Covishield’ since ’21

PUNE: City-based Serum Institute of India (SII) on Wednesday said it had disclosed all rare to very rare side-effects of Covid-19 vaccine, supplied under the name Covishield, in the packaging insert in 2021 itself.

Serum Institute’s statement follows UK-based drug major AstraZeneca’s move to withdraw its Covid-19 vaccine globally because of a “surplus of available updated vaccines” since the Covid-19 pandemic.

The drug major had earlier admitted to a UK court that its vaccine, in very rare cases, could cause a side-effect called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine formula was used by SII to manufacture Covishield.

“With India achieving high vaccination rates in 2021 and 2022, coupled with the emergence of new mutant variant strains, the demand for previous vaccines diminished significantly. Consequently, since Dec 2021, we have stopped the manufacturing and supply of additional doses of Covishield,” a statement issued by SII stated.

On the potential side-effects of the vaccine, the Serum Institute of India statement stated that the firm fully understood the concerns. “From the outset, we have disclosed all rare to very rare side effects, including thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome [TTS], in the packaging insert in 2021,” the statement read.

TTS refers to the formation of blood clots with low platelet counts. The condition is rare, but usually serious, particularly when the blood clot happens in major vessels, health experts said.

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