DOI: 10.1177/25151355231193975 ISSN:

Active surveillance of adverse events following COVID-19 vaccines in a tertiary care hospital

Naveena Mary Cherian, Dravya Anna Durai, Muhammed Jaisel, Divyansh Sharma, Juny Sebastian, Chetak Kadabasal Basavaraja, Merrin Mathew
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Drug Discovery
  • Oncology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


Vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent disease and save lives, but it may also produce some undesirable adverse events (AEs)which may affect healthy individuals. Therefore, the monitoring of AE following immunization (AEFIs) is necessary. The objective of this study was to assess the AEs following COVID-19 vaccinations in a tertiary care hospital.


The study was conducted as active vaccine safety surveillance for a period of 6 months among the COVID-19 vaccine beneficiaries of the study site. Active surveillance was conducted via initiating two telephone contacts. The first surveillance was conducted in 8 days and the second surveillance after 28 days of post-vaccination. All identified AEs following immunizations (AEFIs) were reported and analysed by the AEFI investigation team at the study site. The causality assessment of each identified AEFI was performed using the World Health Organization’s causality assessment algorithm.


A total of 2927 enrolled study population completed the study with a response rate of 80.85%. The study identified 902 AEFIs from 614 study populations with an incidence rate of 20.97%. Of which 794 and 79 AEFIs were associated with COVISHIELD™ and COVAXIN®, respectively. The majority of the events were reported among the age group of 18–29 years. Overall, only three events were serious and no deaths were reported among the study population. A total of 75.59% of events had a consistent causal association with vaccination and were categorized as vaccine product-related reactions. The study identified various factors such as gender ( p = 0.019), age ( p < 0.05), co-morbid status ( p = 0.032) and dose number ( p = 0.001) as potential predictors for development of AEFI.


The study identified only 0.33% of events as serious, and 99.67% of the study population recovered from the AEFIs, which reveals that COVISHIELD™ and COVAXIN® have a generally favourable safety profile. However, close monitoring is required to identify the potential signals, as the safety data from the clinical trials are limited.

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