Rumours and misinformation spread about Covid vaccines should be ignored as these vaccines are “completely safe and effective”, said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Singh, emphasising that the vaccines were cleared for emergency use after necessary tests.
“The vaccines – Covaxin (produced by Serum Institute of India) and Covishield (by Bharat Biotech) are safe to use. The so-called side-effects are normal to any vaccination process. Many of us can recall that while getting vaccinated, we used to get a swelling and mild fewer after it. Thus, it is completely normal,” Mr Vardhan said as he released posters prepared by the Health Ministry to address issues related to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.
Mr Vardhan said the posters were meant to allay any doubts related to the vaccines and urged people to make it a mass campaign. “There is growing demand for India’s vaccines in many countries. Many people are spreading false rumours and misinformation on the efficacy of these vaccines. I urge you all not to believe them,” he said.
#COVID19vaccines are safe & effective.
– Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 21, 2021
The Minister thanked the team of doctors, scientist and medical experts and said, “This vaccination drive is acting as a mirror of the health sector. In the past, India was successful to eradicate deadly diseases like smallpox and polio. Similarly, I believe that now we are hitting the last nail in the coffin of Covid”.
“In the month of January, I believe that we have done some satisfactory work. All the doctors and frontline workers have worked continuously to protect their patients without any negligence,” he said.
Since its launch on January 16, the vaccine drive has failed to meet targets in many states amid hesitancy from healthcare workers and others at the frontline of the coronavirus fight over fear of side effects that may arise after taking the shots.
Some 7.86 lakh people have been vaccinated in India till yesterday, according to data released by the government.
The government has reported hospitalisation from side effects in only 0.002% of vaccine recipients. “Adverse events” have been reported in 0.18 per cent of recipients. Tackling concerns over Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, which is still in Phase 3 clinical trials, the government stressed that both vaccines were safe.