HEOC speaks on possible side effects of COVID-19 vaccine

The Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) has briefed the public of the possible side effects of the COVISHIELD vaccine.

The COVISHIELD vaccine is developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. The Serum Institute of India is producing and distributing the vaccine under a license issued by AstraZeneca.

The Indian government has gifted 100,000 doses of the vaccine to the Maldives, and the vaccines safely arrived in the Maldives on Wednesday. While preparations are underway to begin the Maldives’ COVID-19 vaccination program, the public has been raising concerns on the safety and the efficacy of the vaccine.

When asked regarding the side effects of the vaccine, the HEOC said fever and pain to the injection site is a likely side effect. Allergic reactions are also a possibility, said HEOC. However, the centre did not elaborate on these points. HEOC said all vaccine centres will be on high alert for any possible side effects after vaccine administration.

The centre reiterated that vaccine administration will begin only after the necessary regulatory approvals are received for the relevant authorities, including the approval of the Maldives Food and Drug Authority. While 100,000 doses of the COVISHIELD vaccine gifted by India has now reached Maldives, the vaccines are enough to administer full doses of the vaccine to 50,000 people, said HEOC.

HEOC assured that vaccine administration will begin only after all necessary preparations and training are completed. The vaccines will first be given to health sector workers and social workers.