Nearly 4 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses administered; government urged to share data and investigate AEFIs
The country’s insurance regulator the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has clarified that ‘in the unlikely event of hospitalisation following adverse reaction to COVID-19 vaccination, hospitalisation is covered under the health insurance policies subject to the specific terms and conditions of the policy.
The IRDAI release was responding to press reports raising doubts whether any adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccination that require hospitalisation will be covered by the health insurance policies.
The clarification is significant as adverse events following immunisation (AEFIs) are bound to occur as the COVID-19 vaccination campaign continues to roll out.
As per health ministry data, nearly 4 crore (3,93,39,817) vaccine doses have been administered through 6,47,480 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 am March 19.
A letter dated March 16, written by 29 experts, urged authorities to share information on “urgent investigation of deaths and serious adverse events following administration of COVID-19 vaccine.”
The letter goes on to state, “We understand that at least 65 deaths have occurred following vaccination for COVID-19 since the vaccination campaign started on January 16. However, the National AEFI Committee’s investigation findings of only two of these deaths have been made public. Till now, no case of serious AEFI including death has been attributed to the vaccine.” The letter notes that the government has stopped sharing any details of AEFIs after February 26, 2021.