India had lowest AEFI cases of IT’S during Covid vax drive: Govt

New Delhi: The Union government informed the Supreme Court that India had a very low incidence of Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) cases of Thrombosis and Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) during administration of 220 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines, which was a small fraction of TTS cases in Canada, Australia and the UK.

In a detailed response to petitions filed by parents of two teenagers who died from AEFI related complications after administration of Covishield vaccine in June-July last year, the ministry of health and family welfare said till September 30 this year India has administered 219.9 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine. A total 26 AEFI cases of TTS were reported, of which 14 recovered and 12 died. TTS incidence in India is 0.001 per lakh doses administered, which translates to one case per 10 crore doses administered. In comparison, Canada reported 105 TTS cases, of which 64 were caused by administration of AstraZeneca (Covishield in India) with an incidence rate of 2.27 cases per lakh doses administered.

Australia reported 173 TTS cases because of the AstraZeneca vaccine with an incidence rate of 1.66 cases per one lakh doses administered. The UK reported 39 TTS cases because of the AstraZe neca vaccine with an inci dence rate of 0.06 per lakh doses. Total AEFI cases reported after administration of 219.9 crore doses was 92,114 (0.0042%), of which 89,332 were minor AEFI cases and 2,782 were found to be of serious and severe cases, the ministry said.

In its affidavit settled through additional solicitor general Aishwarya Bhati, the health ministry said one of the two girls’ death was found to be because of TTS while the other is a suspected case of extremely rare Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome of Children/Adults (MIS-C/A).

“As of now there is no de finitive evidence globally to associate MIS-C/A with Co vid-19 vaccines,” it said. On the parents’ demand for the award of adequate compensation for loss of their daughters, which they said would be donated to NGOs working in the social field, the ministry said, “As participation in vaccination programme is voluntary, the concept of informed consent is inapplicable to the voluntary use of drug such as vaccine.”