At least three of the four deaths reported among candidates who got their COVID-19 jabs are not because of the coronavirus vaccines, the Health Ministry said today after a 42-year-old healthcare worker died in Telangana.
"The post-mortem is ongoing," an official health ministry statement said referring to the death of a Telangana man, who got a Covid jab on Tuesday morning and died early Wednesday morning after complaining of chest pain.
Preliminary findings suggest the death is unrelated to the vaccination, a health official said.
"Four (post Covid-shot) deaths have been reported from Uttar Pradesh (1), Karnataka (2) and Telangana (1). Three were because of heart-related events not related to the vaccine," a Health Ministry report said, adding that 10 people were hospitalized across states after today's vaccination drive.
The percentage of adverse events among those administered Covid jabs was 0.18 per cent, while hospitalisations accounted for a negligible 0.002 per cent, the ministry added in an attempt to underline that the two vaccines -- Bharat Biotech Covaxin and Serum Institute's Covishield -- are safe.
There has been rising hesitation among doctors, nurses and others involved in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic towards getting themselves vaccinated, with many not turning up to get their shot.
Though the government has repeatedly tried to allay fears urging people to not fall for rumours on safety, it has also tweaked the Co-WIN app - used for vaccination management.
"A new feature of "allot beneficiary" has been added," the government said, adding that it will allow maximum possible number of people per session for "better coverage".
The option allows for pre-reregistered beneficiaries to walk in and get their shot in an ongoing session.
Some 7.8 lakh people have been given the first shot of the two-jab dose in the five days since the COVID-19 vaccination drive started on January 16 in a total of 14,119 sessions.
District magistrates have also been told to hold daily feedback meetings with session site managers and at cold chain points for better management of the vaccination programme that aims to cover at least 3 crore frontline workers and 27 crore people in the vulnerable category in phase 1.