New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid speculations and subsequent review of possible side-effects of Oxford-AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, the government has reiterated that there was “no signal of concern” regarding its use in the country as of now.

“The scientific community that studies Adverse event following immunization (AEFI) has given NO SIGNAL for Covishield causing blood clotting,” Dr VK Paul, NITI Aayog member (Health) told a press conference in Delhi.

This comes days after several European countries, including Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine over blood clot concerns.

"There are reports on AstraZeneca's vaccine relationship with thrombotic events in people who received the vaccine. But the European Medicines Agency (EMA, Europe's top drug agency) says that it (suspension of the vaccine) is only a precautionary measure," Dr Paul had said last week. 

"India’s own committee that looks at adverse effects is seized of this issue. For the last few days, it is tracking the information that is available to us in a very systematic manner and again I assure you that we have no signal of concern in this regard. Therefore, clearly our vaccination programme with Covishield will go on with full vigour," he added. 

India's vaccination programme has slowed down as several are hesitating in getting the Covishield jab following the ban on its use by European countries. The relucatance among citizens increased after the Centre recently revised the time window within which the 2nd dose of Covishield vaccine can be taken, asking all states and Union Territories to administer it between 4-8 weeks instead of 4-6 weeks.

“The time interval between two doses of the Covishield vaccine revised from 4-6 weeks to 4-8 weeks to ensure better protection. Any delay beyond the eighth week will leave the beneficiary vulnerable,” the ministry said today adding that protection from the virus is ‘greater if the vaccine is taken between 6-8 weeks’.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta