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Oxford University-AstraZeneca Covid19 vaccine, Covishield has been banned in several countries after cases of blood clots and other severe infections were reported. It is one of the most popular vaccines but is in controversy ever since it was approved for emergency use. The vaccine is widely used in India and other countries. However, the vaccine is now suspended for use in several countries. Know Why? 

What is Covishield

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is made from the weakened version of a common cold virus called adenovirus found in chimpanzees.

The efficacy of Covishield varies with the duration between the first and second jab of the vaccine. It has overall efficacy of 70% but can be over 90% when administered as a half dose followed by a full dose a month later.

Also Read: ‘Don’t panic over dose interval of Covishield’: Centre

Which countries have banned the use of Covishield and why? 

Many countries over the world have ordered a pause on the administration of the Covishield covid19 vaccine. According to some experts, the vaccine has an adverse reaction, such as blood clotting. The vaccine has been put under investigation and is banned in at least 18 countries including Denmark, Austria, Norway, Iceland, Bulgaria, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Thailand, etc.

Apart from these, Canadian provinces have also halted the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Covishield. Meanwhile, in the USA the vaccine was not issued with emergency use authorization.

What are the primary health concerns related to Covishield

First, the mentioned side-effects of Covishield include Pain at the injection site, redness, moderate or high fever, drowsiness and lethargy, arm stiffness, and body ache and pain

However, apart from these, Covishield is found to be related to blood clotting and thrombotic events post-vaccination. In almost all the cases where blood clotting was found, vaccine beneficiaries have reported adverse events after receiving both doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Patients were found to have blood clots in the lung. Thromboembolic events refer to the formation of a clot in a blood vessel that might also break loose. It can be carried by the bloodstream to plug another vessel.

In several counties, the use of the vaccine was primarily halted for people over the age of 65. However, later when some deaths were found to be linked with blood clotting due to ingredients found in the vaccine, the suspension was extended.

Also Read: Explained: Why US FDA declined emergency use authorization to Covaxin?

Should India worry about vaccine’s continued usage

The blood clots post-vaccination may not happen to everyone. Also, right now it is classified as the rare side-effect of the vaccine. The Covishield has been a frontrunner in India ever since the vaccination drive commenced in the country. Till now, very few adverse reactions have been recorded officially and only 0.61 for every million doses of the Covishield has reported in clotting and bleeding event in the country.

Doctors and leading medical organisations have found the benefits of using the Covishield to be much greater than the risk of blood clotting disorders. It is advised to people that they should not be too skeptical of the dangers and seek medical help at the earliest.

If there are symptoms like breathlessness, pain in the chest, persistent, abdominal pain, seizures, blurred vision or pin-sized red spots on the site of injection for up to 20 days after administering the vaccine, the person should seek help.

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