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COVID DATA October 19, 2021 INDIA: New Cases: 13,058 Total Cases: 3,40,94,373 New Deaths: 164 Total Deaths: 4,52,454 New Tests: 11,81,314 Total Tests: 59,31,06,188 New Vax: 87,41,160 Total Vax: 98,67,69,411 Hot Spot States (daily deaths above 10) Karnataka: New Deaths: 12 Total Deaths: 37,953 Kerala: New Deaths: 60 Total Deaths: 26,925 TPR: 9.72% Maharashtra: New Deaths: 27 Total Deaths: 1,39,816 Tamil Nadu: New Deaths: 13 Total Deaths: 35,912 Bengal: New Deaths: 12 Total Deaths: 18,989 - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
India approves Johnson's single-dose covid vaccine: Watch out for any side-effects
Those getting vaccinated need to be briefed about the side-effects, and the remedies, as many drugs and symptomatic therapies are contraindicated in the management of post-vaccination side-effects. Johnson's vaccine like AstraZeneca had produced blood clots in a few cases. These CVST patients also developed thrombocytopenia, which has an inverse relation to CVST. How to handle the complex issues? The US had paused Janssen but later resumed as the benefits of vaccination outweighed the AEFIs.

NEW DELHI, Aug 9: The American pharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson's covid vaccine, Janssen, has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for immunisation in India. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has announced.

"India expands its vaccine basket! Johnson and Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine is given approval for Emergency Use in India. Now India has 5 EUA vaccines. This will further boost our nation's collective fight against covid," he tweeted on Saturday.

The single-dose vaccine will be distributed in India by vaccine maker Biological E Limited which has an agreement with Johnson & Johnson. However, the price or the time when the vaccine will be made available is not yet known. The pharma got India's approval just a day after it applied for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA).

Janssen is the fifth covid vaccine to receive EUA in India, the others being Serum Institute of India's Covishield (Oxford- AstraZeneca), Bharat Biotech's indigenous Covaxin, Russia's Sputnik V and US' Moderna. India, with a population of over 130 crore, has so far administered 50 crore doses of covid vaccine, either Covishield or Covaxin.

In the home country US, Johnson's is one of the three vaccines being used currently, the other two being Pfizer and Moderna. The advantage Johnson's has is that it is a one-dose vaccine while all the other 20 odd vaccines developed in the world across against covid are two-dose to be taken with a gap of several weeks. A single-dose vaccine can achieve herd immunity faster.

28 people reported blood clots by May

However, in early April, the US Government recommended pausing the Johnson vaccine for further study after six women who received it developed an adverse event of blood clots and one of them died. The women were aged 18 to 48 years. They developed the symptoms in 6 to 13 days. Later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided to end the pause as the benefits outweigh the small number of AEFIs and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to add a warning label about blood clotting disorder. Thereafter vaccination resumed, after a two-week halt. By May, 9 million doses had been administered and the adverse event was noticed in 28 of them, and three of them died, according to the CDC.

Internal blood clots block blood flow causing thrombosis, and can be fatal. When there is an injury on our body a clot forms that prevents further bleeding. This is not of any consequence but an internal clot - due to many factors - in blood vessels can be. In the case of Johnson's vaccine, the clot formed in the blood vessels of the brain in all the first six women. The condition is called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST).

However, what is puzzling is that these women also developed thrombocytopenia, which has an inverse relation to CVST. The scientists examining the AEFIs say the strange episodes are surprising! Same was the AEFIs for AstraZeneca detected in Europe and some other countries leading to a pause in this case also. Some recipients developed CVST and low platelet counts at the same time! Both are viral carrier or vector vaccines. Russian Sputnik V also falls into this category. There have been no report of clots vis-a-vis the mRNA vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna.

Another contradiction eluding a scientific resolution is that about 20% of covid patients in the ICU are found to develop blood clots, leading to damage to vital organs! According to 'The Lancet - Haematology', the endothelial cells have a role in the clot formation in covid patients. These two types of blood clots and the common occurrences of thrombosis call for three different ways of therapy, and they can be contraindicated!

An argument in defence is, chances of getting clots in case you contract covid infection are more than in getting vaccinated.

The common AEFIs are:

  • Severe headache,
  • Backache,
  • Neurological Symptoms,
  • Severe abdominal pain,
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Leg swelling,
  • Tiny red spots on the skin (petechiae)

Who can be vaccinated:

  • The J&J vaccine, like the other vaccines, is also recommended for people above 18 years of age.
  • The WHO said the vaccine is safe and effective in people with comorbidities such as hypertension, chronic lung disease, significant cardiac disease, obesity and diabetes.
  • It can also be taken by those who have had covid.
  • This vaccine can be offered to breastfeeding women too.

Who should not be vaccinated:

  • It is not recommended for individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to any component of the vaccine.
  • It should also not be administered to one running temperature.

The vaccination booths should have adequate built-in arrangements to educate those getting vaccinated on what to do and what not to do after the vaccination. Although this is vital, mostly it is taken for granted. They also need to be briefed about the side-effects, serious and non-serious, and the remedies, as many drugs and symptomatic therapies are contraindicated in the management of post-vaccination side-effects.

The WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunisation had issued interim recommendations for the use of the Janssen in June last.

Janssen was found to have an efficacy of 85.4% against severe disease and 93.1 % against hospitalization, 28 days after inoculation.

Janssen is given as one dose (0.5 ml) intramuscularly unlike all other vaccines requiring two doses separated by a gap of several weeks.

Johnson vaccine needs less refrigeration requirements than the Moderna or Pfizer.

Janssen has also undergone review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and found to be safe for use.

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