55% Covidshield recipients had mild side effects: AMCH study | India News

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GUWAHATI: A study conducted by physician-scientists from Assam Medical College Hospital (Dibrugarh), supported by ICMR-recognised multidisciplinary research laboratory, has revealed that 55% of Covishield vaccine recipients experienced only minor side effects like fever and headache. These symptoms occurred within a week of getting inoculated with the first dose.Researchers confirmed no long-term adverse effects after a year.
“In our study, we found that 55% experienced minor adverse events such as fever, headache, body ache and pain at the injection site. The remaining 45% of the recipients had no adverse events at all. After the second dose, only 6.8% showed minor adverse events following immunisation (AEFI). Most importantly, no participant showed any major adverse events during the entire one year period of study,” said associate professor of pathology at AMCH, Gayatri Gogoi, the principal investigator of the study done in Assam’s Dibrugarh district.
The major (serious and severe) adverse events were defined as disabling, rare life-threatening conditions that may lead to long-term problems. “The young individuals had more minor adverse events than the elderly individuals. What is also intriguing to note is that those who had comorbidities or other health conditions showed less adverse events,” she added.
The study was conducted from July 2021 when the first Covishield vaccine for the public was introduced and participants were followed up till June 2022 after receiving the approval of the Institutional Ethics Committee to conduct the same. This data of research findings was recently accepted for publication in a well-known PubMed indexed journal named Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.
The doctor-research investigators felt the need of sharing the real-time research data from Dibrugarh district, led by Gayatri Gogoi, who is also a renowned cancer researcher, along with Dr Gourangie Gogoi, professor of community medicine at AMCH, Dr Bhupendra Narayan Mahanta, professor of medicine (currently posted at Lakhimpur Medical College Hospital) and Dr Mithu Medhi, professor of microbiology (currently posted at Kokrajhar Medical College Hospital) after completing a study on Covishield vaccine effectiveness and AEFI or side effects. The study design was done in consultation with Dr Biswajyoti Borkakoty, head of Regional Viral Research & Diagnostic Laboratory, Regional Medical Research Centre-NE Region (ICMR), Dibrugarh as nodal officer from this region for the pandemic time.
The researchers said during the peak of the Delta variant wave in June 2021, it was found that 61% of the participants had been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The remaining 39% were sero-negative, meaning they had not contracted the virus and had received the Covishield vaccine.
Regarding the effectiveness or antibody development, 93% remained positive and the antibody level was much higher in case of the vaccinated. Among those participants previously infected by SARS-CoV-2 virus, the first dose of Covishield vaccine acted as booster dose and was enough to enhance high rise of antibody titre in contrast to SARS-CoV-2 uninfected participants. “The final inference was that natural virus infections confer stronger immune responses than Covishield vaccine alone,” said Gogoi.

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