The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said media reports claiming admission of ‘multiple side-effects of COVID-19 vaccines’ by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) officials are ill-informed and erroneous.
Citing an RTI response, a recent news report had claimed that ICMR and CDSCO officials have admitted to side-effects of COVID-19 vaccines, citing a plethora of ramifications arising out of them.
“It is clarified that the news report is ill-informed and provides erroneous information,” the ministry said, referring to the report.
In line with the policy of the Union Ministry of Health of proactive disclosure aligned with global scientific evidence in the public domain, the ICMR provides responses to questions under the RTI Act related to advantages and disadvantages of COVID-19 vaccines.
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The ICMR response simply provided links of reputed websites of the World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Ministry of Health where compiled global evidence on various COVID-19 vaccines is available, the ministry said in a statement.
As is the case with all other vaccines, those who get vaccinated with different COVID-19 vaccines may experience mild symptoms like injection site tenderness, pain, headache, fatigue, myalgia, malaise, pyrexia, chills, arthralgia etc. Rarely, few individuals may experience severe adverse events depending upon certain pre-disposing conditions, the statement stated.
Global research studies have shown that COVID-19 vaccination has helped in reducing the severity of the disease by preventing hospitalisations and deaths due to COVID-19 and benefits of the vaccines overwhelmingly outweigh any adverse effects.
In India, the NTAGI (National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization) has periodically reviewed the benefits and side-effects of Covid vaccines used in the country and has endorsed the above findings.
In addition, the CDSCO stated as part of the RTI reply that the list of COVID-19 vaccines approved by the National Drugs Controller General is available on the website cdsco.gov.in. The CDSCO also informed that it has no other information on the subject.
It may be noted that the ICMR has not commented on any of the documents, links of which have been shared as part of the RTI response, the statement stated.