Don’t take Covishield jab if allergic to ingredients

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Panaji: After Bharat Biotech, now manufacturer of the COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covishield’, Serum Institute of India (SII), has advised people not to take its vaccine if they are severely allergic to any ingredient of Covishield.

The SII has released a fact sheet cautioning that one should not take the Covishield vaccine if he/she has had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine or if the beneficiary previously had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine.

The ingredients of the Covishield vaccine include L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, Sucrose, Sodium chloride, Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA), water for injection. With regard to the risk factor related to the vaccine, SII stated that the vaccine’s very common side effects, which have been reported till date and may affect more than one in ten people are tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching, swelling or bruising at the injection site, the person generally feeling unwell, feeling tired (fatigue), chills or feeling feverish, headache, feeling sick, (nausea), joint pain or muscle ache. The common side effects, which may affect up to one in ten people are lump at the injection site, fever, feeling sick (vomiting), flu-like symptoms such as high temperature, sore throat, runny nose, cough and chills.

If a recipient of the Covishield vaccine feels dizzy, has lack of appetite, abdominal pain, enlarged lymph nodes, sweats excessively, skin itches or the recipient gets rash, then these are not very common symptoms and the recipient should immediately seek medical attention.

“These may not be all the possible side effects of the Covishield vaccine. Serious and unexpected side effects may occur. Covishield vaccine is still being studied in clinical trials,” SII said.

The factsheet states that if a woman is pregnant or plans to become pregnant or is breastfeeding, then she should tell the vaccinator officer about this before taking the dose of the vaccine. The SII has claimed that the Covishield vaccine does not contain SARS-CoV-2 and cannot give one the COVID-19 infection.

Explaining about the benefits, the manufacturer said that in the ongoing clinical trials, the Covishield vaccine has been shown to prevent COVID-19 disease following two doses given between four and 12 weeks apart.

“The duration of protection against COVID-19 disease is currently unknown. You may get protective immune response four weeks after the second dose of Covishield vaccine,” it said.