Bharat Biotech, as part of its precautionary advice, has said people on medicines that affect their immune system should not take its vaccine Covaxin. Close on the heels of some adverse incidents being reported, a detailed fact sheet released by Bharat Biotech says those with bleeding disorders or on blood thinners should avoid taking the shot for now.
People with a fever or allergic or pregnant and lactating mothers have also been advised against taking the jab. The factsheet, accessed by Times of India, says if someone develops Covid-19 symptoms after taking the jab, it will be considered an "adverse event" based on the RT-PCR test conducted.
Notably, the Centre in its detailed guidelines on vaccination had recently said that patients who are on immuno-suppressants (cancer patients on chemotherapy, HIV positive and those on steroids) or suffering from the immune deficiency may get vaccinated.
The ministry suggested that acutely unwell people or hospitalised or those infected with Covid-19 or administered plasma should delay their vaccination by 4-8 weeks.
Bharat Biotech is among two companies in India that have received approval to roll out their vaccines for emergency use. The vaccine has been developed with the National Institute of Virology and the Indian Council of Medical Research. The company is still conducting Phase 3 clinical trials, which means its efficacy is yet to be established.
Bharat Biotech's Covaxin has been approved by 11 states for inoculation in the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Out of the 11 states that have agreed to deploy the Covaxin, five are opposition-ruled.
In total, the Centre will procure 1.65 crore vaccines initially -- 1.1 crore from SII and 55 lakh from Bharat Biotech. While Covishield will cost Rs 200 per jab for the government, Covaxin has been priced around Rs 206 per dose, as per health secretary Rajesh Bhushan.