Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, on Friday, told the media that there is no direct link between actor Vivek’s cardiac condition and the COVID vaccine, which he took the day before. He was speaking on the sidelines of a press meet organised by the SIMS Hospital in Chennai about actor Vivek’s health condition. The veteran comedian was rushed to the hospital on Friday morning after he fell unconscious at his house in Chennai.
The doctors at SIMS hospitals performed an emergency coronary angiogram on him after finding 100% block in the LAD vessel of his left coronary artery. Doctors have placed a stent. Following this, Vivek was put on extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Currently, he is in the intensive care unit in the hospital.
Speaking to the media, Radhakrishnan said that there is no direct connection between the COVID vaccine and the actor’s condition. “There is no direct link between COVID-19 vaccine and his 100% block. We even conducted a test on him today (Friday) and it returned negative. Even his CT scan did not show any symptoms of COVID-19,” he said.
Adding that the actor and his team had volunteered to take the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Radhakrishnan said that the authorities were also equally shocked when they learned of Vivek’s hospitalisation on Friday. "The guidelines by the Union government says people with certain comorbidities should get vaccinated and this includes cardiac problems. This came as a shock to us too. Only today we came to know about the LAD block,” he said. “The vaccine reaction normally comes in 15 to 20 minutes, it is called an anaphylactic shock. This (Vivek's) case is not that. Our only goal now is that he recovers. Also, a 100% cardiac block cannot happen in a day." Eight hundred and thirty persons had taken Covaxin on Thursday at the same healthcare facility as Vivek.
When asked if Vivek should not have come forward to get himself vaccinated due to his cardiac condition, Radhakrishnan said that globally experts have recommended that people with comorbidities come forward and get the vaccine on priority basis. “The High Court has also urged people with comorbidities to come forward to vaccinate themselves, including those who have undergone organ transplantation,” he said, adding that only pregnant women, lactating women and children below the age of 18 have been advised not to take the vaccine.
As per Covaxin’s fact-sheet, only three categories of people should not take the vaccine. They are those who have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredients of the vaccine; those who have had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine, and those currently with an acute infection or fever.
Vivek had on Thursday taken the first shot of Covaxin, a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech. After getting vaccinated, Vivek had urged those above the age of 45 to take the vaccine. “The public safety measures to keep ourselves safe (from coronavirus) is wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining adequate physical distancing. The medical way to protect ourselves is this vaccine. You might be taking Siddha medicines, Ayurvedic medicines, Vitamin-C, Zinc tablets etc. This is all fine. But these are added measures. The vaccine is the only thing that can save your life. If you ask me if people who are vaccinated don’t get COVID-19, it is not like that. Even if COVID-19 hits you, there won’t be death,” the actor had said.