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Paracetamol, pain killers not recommended for children after Covaxin shot, says Bharat Biotech

Covaxin makers said most reported side effects are mild & 'resolve within 1-2 days, and do not require medication'. So far Covaxin is only Covid vaccine available for 15-18 year olds in India.

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New Delhi: Bharat Biotech, the maker of the indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, has issued a statement saying teenagers receiving Covaxin shots need not take paracetamol or painkillers to stave off possible adverse side effects of the shots.

Paracetamol is an over the counter drug used in the treatment of inflammation and to bring down a fever. It has been commonly used to treat vaccination side effects such as fever or body ache, since Covid vaccination started in the country last year.

In a statement issued on social media Wednesday Bharat Biotech said, “We have received feedback that certain immunization centres are recommending taking 3 paracetamol 500 mg tablets along with Covaxin for children. No paracetamol or pain killers are recommended after being vaccinated with Covaxin.”

Most reported side effects have been mild and “resolve within 1-2 days, and do not require medication,” the company claimed.

It further stated that medicines require the consultation of a physician, and while paracetamol was recommended with some other Covid-19 vaccines, it is not recommended for Covaxin.

However, Dr Arun Gupta, a paediatrician and president of the Delhi Medical Council, told ThePrint, “Paracetamol has been taken alongside vaccines for decades, because children can often develop fevers after being vaccinated. We only recommend it is given to children if they develop a fever and/or unbearable pain.”

“I think what they were trying to convey was that routine or indiscriminate use of paracetamol should not be encouraged,” he added.

Covaxin’s clinical trial on children

The government of India opened vaccinations for those in the 15 to 18 year age category from 3 January. So far, Covaxin is the only vaccine available in India for those in this age bracket.

Clinical trials of the vaccine for children are still underway. On 30 December, the company had put out a statement on its website saying that it’s phase 1 and 2 trials for those aged two to 18 years demonstrated “robust safety and immunogenicity”.

The trial, results of which are yet to be published and peer reviewed, was conducted on 525 eligible participants, of which 374 reported mild to moderate symptoms after vaccination, most of which were resolved within one day, the company had claimed in its statement.

No serious adverse effects were reported, the company claimed, adding that pain at the injection site was the most commonly reported side effect.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: As Covid cases spike, CBSE advises schools to ensure students aged 15-18 get vaccinated fast


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