After a person died due to anaphylaxis following vaccination for COVID-19, a government panel is analysing more such cases of allergic reactions. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction which if diagnosed on time can be treated.
According to a report by the National AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) Committee, a 68-year-old man died due to anaphylaxis after being vaccinated on March 8, 2021.
"It is the first death linked to COVID-19 vaccination due to anaphylaxis. It re-emphasises the need to wait for 30 minutes at the inoculation centre after receiving the jab. Most of the anaphylactic reactions occur during this period and prompt treatment prevents deaths," Dr N.K. Arora, chairperson of the National AEFI Committee told PTI.
What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. It causes the immune system to release a flood of chemicals, resulting in shock. The blood pressure drops and airways get narrower, making breathing impossible.
One of the common symptoms post-vaccination is a skin reaction. There can be an extreme redness on the skin, swelling, a flushed appearance and itchy raised bumps. There can also be intense itching with the affected area becoming hot.
Some of the other common symptoms are confusion, headache, anxiety, trouble in speaking, vision blurriness etc. Dizziness and unconsciousness, though not directly attributed, can be seen. One should also look out for nausea, diarrhoea, cramps and abdominal pain.
Is the Vaccine Harmful?
The vaccine is not harmful. Sometimes, the immune system overreacts to an allergen and in the case of a vaccine, the body is reacting to one of its ingredients.
Who are Most at Risk?
Individuals with existing cardiac ailments and history of asthma and allergies are more vulnerable to this. The rationale behind waiting for 30 minutes following vaccination is to check and verify for any of the symptoms mentioned above. It is better to inform the doctor about your medical history and ailments before getting the jab to ensure the staff is ready for any emergency.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)