Rhythma Kaul

Rhythma Kaul

Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

Articles by Rhythma Kaul
A member of the medical staff gets Covishield vaccine at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, in New Delhi on January 19. (Raj K Raj/HT photo)
A member of the medical staff gets Covishield vaccine at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, in New Delhi on January 19. (Raj K Raj/HT photo)

Covid vaccination-related adverse events in India among lowest in world: Govt

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 08:46 AM IST
In all, 600 adverse event following immunisation have been reported from across the country; 10 people were hospitalised of which seven have been discharged
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Bharat Biotech developed Covaxin in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research.(REUTERS)
Bharat Biotech developed Covaxin in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research.(REUTERS)

Covaxin recipients to be monitored for three months after second dose

UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 04:38 AM IST
If a serious adverse event is linked to vaccination, then the recipient will be compensated based on the national drug controller’s recommendations after thorough investigation, said the plan.
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HT Image
HT Image

Covaxin recipients to be monitored for three months after 2nd dose

UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 12:10 AM IST
New Delhi Covaxin recipients will be monitored for three months after getting the 2nd dose for any adverse reactions, according to a detailed plan released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in an attempt to dispel safety concerns about the vaccine whose efficacy data isn’t publicly known
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A Covid-19 vaccine shot being administered at Rajawadi Hospital in Mumbai on January 19. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)
A Covid-19 vaccine shot being administered at Rajawadi Hospital in Mumbai on January 19. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Covid vaccine drive: Health ministry allows on-spot beneficiary registration

UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 08:44 AM IST
Co-WIN app has been tweaked to allow states to accommodate walk-in; however, priority will still be given to current day beneficiaries
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Adverse reactions can be caused by allergies or underlying medical conditions and are not necessarily causally linked to vaccines.(Bloomberg Photo )
Adverse reactions can be caused by allergies or underlying medical conditions and are not necessarily causally linked to vaccines.(Bloomberg Photo )

Covaxin recipients under stricter watch, says Centre

By Rhythma Kaul, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 03:54 AM IST
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine recipients are being actively followed for any adverse reactions. Officials also drew a distinction between Covishield, which finished late-stage trials abroad, and Covaxin, which is currently in phase 3 trials.
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“In addition to the list of beneficiaries sent to us by the Co-WIN platform, we were allowed to vaccinate people who are already registered but were not on the list." said Dr DS Rana(HT_PRINT)
“In addition to the list of beneficiaries sent to us by the Co-WIN platform, we were allowed to vaccinate people who are already registered but were not on the list." said Dr DS Rana(HT_PRINT)

Govt tweaks app to allow walk-ins, experts want wider access to shots

By Rhythma Kaul, Abhishek Dey, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 11:37 PM IST
A Union health ministry official confirmed the tweak in the app on Tuesday to allow health care workers not scheduled for jabs on a particular day to get the shots.
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Tuesday’s 54% vaccination rate was only marginally better than the 50% seen till Monday.(Satish Bate/Hindustan Times)
Tuesday’s 54% vaccination rate was only marginally better than the 50% seen till Monday.(Satish Bate/Hindustan Times)

Vaccination lagging, govt appeals against hesitancy

By Rhythma Kaul, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 01:50 AM IST
The remarks were made at the government’s weekly briefing on Covid-19, which was opened by Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan, who said three regions – Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Punjab – vaccinated fewer than 40% of their targets.
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Representational image. (REUTERS)
Representational image. (REUTERS)

Covid-19 vaccines: Fact sheets warn against use in immuno-compromised

UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 12:41 PM IST
The health ministry’s guidance document for states on precautions and contraindications for Covid-19 vaccine was released two days before the launch of Covid-19 vaccination drive on January 16
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"The Covax facility was set-up to ensure that there was equitable access to vaccines against Covid-19", says Anuradha Gupta
"The Covax facility was set-up to ensure that there was equitable access to vaccines against Covid-19", says Anuradha Gupta

‘Will provide 200 million doses to India for first phase’: Gavi deputy CEO

By Rhythma Kaul, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 04:09 AM IST
"The arrangement is 20% of Gavi’s total support will be provided to India, which comes to about 200 million doses. It will cost Gavi about $1.4 billion. Gavi will also provide $30 million for technical assistance.", says Anuradha Gupta.
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India is administering two vaccines as part of the first phase of Covid-19 immunisation covering roughly 30 million health care and other frontline workers.(AFP)
India is administering two vaccines as part of the first phase of Covid-19 immunisation covering roughly 30 million health care and other frontline workers.(AFP)

580 adverse events reported in three days of vaccination

By Rhythma Kaul, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 01:52 AM IST
“So far, cumulative 580 AEFI have been reported, of which seven needed hospitalisation,” said Manohar Agnani, additional secretary, Union health ministry.
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The government said that between Saturday morning and 5pm on Monday, 381,305 people were given doses in 7,704 sessions.(ANI)
The government said that between Saturday morning and 5pm on Monday, 381,305 people were given doses in 7,704 sessions.(ANI)

Covid-19 vaccination drive hit by hesitancy hurdle

By Rhythma Kaul, Anonna Dutt, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 01:39 AM IST
The turnout dipped from 4,319 on Saturday to 3,593 on Monday in the national capital. At AIIMS in Delhi, only eight people were vaccinated on Monday, an official said, while asking not to be named. Officials said concerns over the vaccines’ safety appear to have deterred many people.
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Representational Image.
Representational Image.

Adverse events post Covid-19 immunisation: Here’s all you need to know

UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:07 AM IST
Close to 250,000 healthcare workers were immunised on day one of India’s vaccination drive, of which 447 suffered adverse event following immunisation
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Across the country, a large majority of the vaccinations done on Saturday were using the Covishield vaccine since that has one of the highest volumes of ready stock. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
Across the country, a large majority of the vaccinations done on Saturday were using the Covishield vaccine since that has one of the highest volumes of ready stock. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

India inoculates 220k individuals over two days of Covid-19 vaccination drive

By Rhythma Kaul, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 12:48 AM IST
According to officials, among the 207,229 who got doses on the first day, three people — or .0014% — had significant side effects. Of these three, two were hospitalised overnight and discharged the following day while one remained admitted as of late Sunday.
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Additionally, 3,429 people were vaccinated in defence institutions.(@adgpi/Twitter)
Additionally, 3,429 people were vaccinated in defence institutions.(@adgpi/Twitter)

Vaccine drive held smoothly, no serious side effects: Govt

By Rhythma Kaul, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 02:59 AM IST
As opposed to the target of vaccinating about 300,000 people on the first day, according to the health ministry’s data, 191,181 health care workers were vaccinated at 3,351 centres. There were 16,755 personnel involved in the vaccination programme.
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A vial of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is pictured in Belgrade, Serbia, (Reuters)
A vial of the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is pictured in Belgrade, Serbia, (Reuters)

Russian Sputnik vaccine gets phase 3 trials approval in India

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 12:11 PM IST
In its report, the Board concluded that no safety concerns were identified and the study met the primary endpoints of safety.
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States have been given a free hand to increase the number of session sites, if needed, as a single site cannot administer the vaccine to more than 100 beneficiaries in a day.
States have been given a free hand to increase the number of session sites, if needed, as a single site cannot administer the vaccine to more than 100 beneficiaries in a day.

Covid-19: Nationwide vaccination drive to start today

By Rhythma Kaul, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 08:41 AM IST
Each centre will deploy vaccines from a single manufacturer to avoid mixing of doses in recipients, which is not permitted, said officials involved in the delivery programme that will be launched at 10.30am.
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Covid-19 reaches Thane to be distributed in Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts in Maharashtra, on January 13. (HT file)
Covid-19 reaches Thane to be distributed in Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts in Maharashtra, on January 13. (HT file)

India Covid-19 vaccination: FAQs on schedule, precautions, side effects

UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 11:36 AM IST
The priority groups for vaccination comprise country’s health care workers and frontline workers; people over the age of 50 years; and people under 50 with comorbidities
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“We are a group of doctors, scientists, and medical professionals, who are devoted to promotion of scientific research in India. Due to our untiring efforts, India has emerged a global leader in supply of vaccines to the world. Vaccine is exported from India to over 188 countries,” the statement read. (Representative Image)(Reuters/ File photo)
“We are a group of doctors, scientists, and medical professionals, who are devoted to promotion of scientific research in India. Due to our untiring efforts, India has emerged a global leader in supply of vaccines to the world. Vaccine is exported from India to over 188 countries,” the statement read. (Representative Image)(Reuters/ File photo)

Experts slam ‘irresponsible’ remarks on Covid vaccines

PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 06:35 AM IST
Issuing a statement in this regard, the group slammed the “irresponsible statements by vested interests” for “defaming Indian scientific community”.
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Representational Image. (HT file photp)
Representational Image. (HT file photp)

Polio immunisation programme rescheduled to January 31 amid Covid-19 inoculation drive

UPDATED ON JAN 14, 2021 01:05 PM IST
President Ramnath Kovind will launch the polio immunisation programme by administering polio drops to children at the Rashtrapati Bhawan
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Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. (File photo)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. (File photo)

Capital’s 8,100 warriors will take jabs on V-Day

UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 07:02 AM IST
The vaccination drive will start with 81 vaccination centres where 8,100 healthcare workers will be given the first batch of shots; it will be conducted four days a week
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New Delhi international airport. (HT Archive)
New Delhi international airport. (HT Archive)

Delhi international airport to get first of its kind genome sequencing lab today

UPDATED ON JAN 14, 2021 09:34 AM IST
The laboratory is being launched at the New Delhi international airport for testing samples of all travellers arriving into the country who test positive for Covid-19
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The Union ministry of health and family welfare announced on Wednesday it had allocated all procured doses of Covaxin to States and Union Territories in proportion of health care workers database, and concerns regarding its safety were baseless.(ANI Photo)
The Union ministry of health and family welfare announced on Wednesday it had allocated all procured doses of Covaxin to States and Union Territories in proportion of health care workers database, and concerns regarding its safety were baseless.(ANI Photo)

Debate over vaccine approval intensifies, Paul says have faith in regulator

By Rhythma Kaul, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 14, 2021 05:27 AM IST
Covaxin is one of two manufactured-in-India coronavirus vaccines cleared by regulators for emergency use on January 3.
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Although 5.5 million doses of Covaxin have been procured by the government, the company did not disclose how many had been shipped on Wednesday.(ANI Photo)
Although 5.5 million doses of Covaxin have been procured by the government, the company did not disclose how many had been shipped on Wednesday.(ANI Photo)

Stage set for vaccine roll-out as Covaxin adds to supplies

UPDATED ON JAN 14, 2021 12:15 AM IST
Bharat Biotech announced in a statement on Wednesday that the company had shipped Covaxin to 11 cities: Ganavaram, Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bengaluru, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Chennai and Lucknow.
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Boxes containing Covaxin arrive at Delhi airport on Wednesday, January 13. (Photo: Sourced)
Boxes containing Covaxin arrive at Delhi airport on Wednesday, January 13. (Photo: Sourced)

Covaxin shipped to 11 cities across country: Bharat Biotech

UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2021 02:53 PM IST
The 11 cities where vaccines have been sent are Ganavaram, Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bangalore, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Chennai and Lucknow
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Representational image. (HT Photo)
Representational image. (HT Photo)

Govt defers national polio immunisation programme

PUBLISHED ON JAN 13, 2021 12:34 PM IST
The Union health ministry’s immunisation division, the states were asked to postpone the polio drive for now
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Representational image. (AP)
Representational image. (AP)

Covid-19 vaccination drive could take a year or more: Health ministry

UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2021 09:29 AM IST
There will be a sequential roll-out of Covid-19 vaccine, depending on the availability of the vaccine, said Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan
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The government has trained 2,360 master trainers, who in turn have trained 61,000 programme managers, 200,000 vaccinators and 370,000 other vaccination team members so far. (Representative Image)
The government has trained 2,360 master trainers, who in turn have trained 61,000 programme managers, 200,000 vaccinators and 370,000 other vaccination team members so far. (Representative Image)

People won’t be given vaccine choice: Govt

UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2021 01:38 AM IST
Both vaccine candidates have won approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) although Covaxin is still in Phase 3 trials.
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Police personnel guard the trucks to be used to transport the Covishield vaccine from Serum Institute of India to different parts of the country, in Pune on January 11. (PTI)
Police personnel guard the trucks to be used to transport the Covishield vaccine from Serum Institute of India to different parts of the country, in Pune on January 11. (PTI)

Serum Institute’s Covishield supplies begin moving from Pune unit for distribution across nation

PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2021 08:20 AM IST
The Government of India formally sent a purchase order to the company on Monday evening for 11 million doses of Covishield, at a special price of Rs200 per dose for the first million doses
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The DSMB concluded that no safety concerns were identified and the study has met the primary endpoints of safety. (Representative Image)(AFP)
The DSMB concluded that no safety concerns were identified and the study has met the primary endpoints of safety. (Representative Image)(AFP)

Sputnik V vaccine found safe in Phase 2 clinical trials: Dr Reddy’s

PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2021 06:18 AM IST
The phase 2 study of Sputnik V was conducted on 100 subjects as part of the randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study in India.
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Vials of Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield vaccine are seen before they are packaged inside a lab at Serum Institute of India, in Pune. (REUTERS FILE)(HT_PRINT)
Vials of Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield vaccine are seen before they are packaged inside a lab at Serum Institute of India, in Pune. (REUTERS FILE)(HT_PRINT)

Govt inks deal for 11 million Covishield doses with Serum Institute

By Rhythma Kaul, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 12, 2021 03:19 AM IST
With that, the movement of vaccine shipments is likely to begin either by late Monday evening or early Tuesday morning to different states
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