After a 49-year-old woman, in Kerala’s Kozhikode district, received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine shot on the same day, her family has alleged negligence on the part of a government hospital. The woman who developed severe fever and uneasiness after getting vaccinated was admitted in hospital on Sunday and was discharged on Tuesday.
On March 12, Praseetha who works at a private eye hospital in Kozhikode went to the Government General Hospital in Kozhikode, popularly known as Beach Hospital, to get her first dose of the vaccine.
“According to my mother, after getting vaccinated, she was sitting in the vaccination room and was rubbing the spot where the vaccine was given with some cotton. Suddenly, the same nurse who injected her came and gave her another shot without asking anything. Since my mother was not aware that two doses should have a gap of 28 days, she did not object,” Praseetha’s son Arun Anand told TNM.
However, he said that she asked the nurse whether everyone will be getting two shots. “It was only then that the nurse understood that my mother was vaccinated twice,” Arun said.
Arun alleges that the incident was not reported to any higher-ups and that his mother was allowed to leave and go home. But after coming home, she started to develop a fever the same day. “By Saturday night, the fever was severe and she developed breathlessness and chest pain. We immediately informed the health officials. The next day they sent an ambulance and my mother got admitted to the same hospital,” he says.
After being admitted in the hospital for two days, Praseetha was discharged on Tuesday. According to the family, she was also moved to the intensive care unit while in the hospital. “Now she is better, but is very weak,” Arun said.
Responding to the incident, officials of the District Medical Officer (DMO) office in Kozhikode told TNM that the woman was admitted to an intensive care unit only for observation and that she does not have any complications. They also confirmed to TNM that the woman was given the Covishield vaccine.
“As per the information we received from the hospital, the group of people who came along with the woman to get vaccinated, were wearing white coats. After getting their first shot, Praseetha had gone out of the room, but she again came back and sat inside. The duty nurse inside the vaccine room does not check names usually, as that is verified by another nurse sitting outside the vaccine room,” said the officer. Praseetha and her coworkers were wearing white coats as they worked at an eye hospital and had come together for their vaccine.
Meanwhile, the family stated that they have filed a complaint with the DMO, but is yet to get a positive response. “What happened is a major lapse. We don’t even know what complication to expect and my mother is really weak though she has been discharged from the hospital,” Arun said, adding that the hospital officials even charged money for conducting tests while being admitted. “It was their fault and we have spent close to Rs 2,500 on tests alone,” he added.
According to the direction of the Union Health Ministry, the COVID-19 vaccination is taken in two doses and there should be a gap of 28 days between the first and the second dose. Protective levels of antibodies usually develop in a vaccinated individual two weeks after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.