We all know that the Covid vaccines (and in general, other vaccines too) are expected to cause slight side effects, like some fever for next one to two days. People who had an Astrazeneca shot complained quite a lot unlike Covaxine ones. Unfortunately, things were different for Dhaneesha. We have gone through quite a lot for the past days. Because I’m not a doctor, I can’t make any assumptions or take any conclusions but I believe that it is important to document what happened so that any similar cases can be identified around the world.
So, I will publish this post as a statement of facts, as they happened :
- My wife Dhaneesha had her first dose of Covaxine on 30th March 2021.
- Coincidence or not, she started having an ear pain on that same day. She took paracetamol as recommended for anyone having the vaccines and we waited.
- 31st March : She starting having fever
- 1st April : 48 hours after the shot, the ear still pained a lot.
- 2nd April : We went to see a doctor who noticed an ear infection and prescribed medicines including ear drops as a first medical aid. If the pain does not fade after 3 days, he asked us to come again for some antibiotics prescription.
- 3rd April : A day later, things did not go much better. The pain worsened and even the jaw area was paining dreadfully. We returned to the GP doctor who then prescribed some antibiotics.
- 4th April : She was unable to bear the ear and jaw pain along with the fever. She could neither eat nor take her antibiotics.
- We decided to go to a clinic. There has been some long story here as we drove to a few places, but I will cut it short for this article.
- We finally landed in some private clinic, where she was given first care through IV and we were informed that she has to be hospitalized. She did a Covid 19 PCR test, which turned out to be negative.
- Her fever reached pikes of 39 degrees over the next 3 days. Her whole body shivered loads at the same time. She did a whole set of blood tests, X-rays, CT scans : all results were normal.
- An ENT specialist had a look at her and identified a swollen gland : Lymph Node as they call it. However, this was said not to cause such type of pain and fever.
- 7 April : Another PCR test was done again. Negative.
- More tests were done in order to determine any possible cause of the fever. Meanwhile, she was given paracetamol, antibiotics and anti inflammatory treatment. The high peak of 39 degrees was reached at a regular interval of 3 hours.
- The ear and jaw pain was nearly gone, same for the previously identified swollen gland.
- 8th April : She was given Voltaren, which dropped the fever quite quickly. She was stable for at least 10 hours before the high temperature was back. Another Voltaren was given.
- After the second dose of Voltaren, the fever did not go beyond 37.5 degrees.
- 10th April : Her medical condition was pretty stable, enabling doctors to diminish medication slowly.
- 13th April : She was discharged to go home.
Thankfully, everything sounds better now but she needs rest to recover fully.
And to summarize everything, the calendar overview can be helpful :
If we count the number of days with fever, it starts from 31st March till the 9-10th April. That makes roughtly 10 days of high fever of peaks up to 39 degrees.
The cause of the high fever has still not been identified. Since she did a Covid Vaccin just before the problem, the doctor filed a report which was sent to the Ministry of Health. Such cases should be reported (publicly), so that it does not remain a secret and links / investigations can be made accordingly.
Anyone is free to take their own conclusions as per the above facts. If anyone is going through same problem or anyone wants more details, drop a comment or a mail, I will respond accordingly.
Update (29 July 2021)
The story continues unfortunately, hence I had to edit the post.
After her discharge from Wellkin on 13th April, she had mild fevers during the next days but on a follow up visit one week later, she was unwell with higher temperatures, nausea and vomitting.
19th April – The doctor immediately admitted her and all tests were repeated to detect any changes from the previous admission. Helas, no new observations were made.
20th April – After the visit of additional doctors, a LP (Lumbar Puncture) procedure was done, whereby spinal liquid is removed for advanced analysis. This also requires the patient for total bed rest for next 24 hours.
21th April – Results showed a Cytomegalovirus (“CMV”) infection.
A first CMV test during the first admission was negative. CMV infection is an illness not commonly known to cause serious sickness. Normally the CMV can remain dormant in your body, and once active, it can just show mild fever which goes away after a few days. However, here Dhaneesha had the fever for more than 3 weeks now.
Her doctors prescribed two half doses of Ganciclovir 500 (via intravenous injection) for the next 21 days. One dose (250mg) needs to be injected via IV over a period of one hour in the morning and again in the afternoon.
22nd April – The first doses looked promising as the fever dropped immediately. The administration of the doses continued
27th April – Following a more stable medical condition, she was discharged again from hospital but she had to continue to have 1 dose of Ganciclovir IV daily till the 21th day.
We had to look for a medical staff to come home twice daily to administer the Ganciclovir but that was much convenient and cheaper than staying at a private hospital just for the doses.
Pricewise – a single Ganciclovir 500mg vial (2 doses – morning and evening) costs Rs1, 500 and at the time of discharge, we managed to get enough doses only for 2 days. Even the local supplier (Mauritius Pharmacy Ltd) did not manage to find any available units in any of the clinics of Mauritius. It was simply out of stock.
Since the next cargo flight from India with additional doses of Ganciclovir will only land in 1 week time, the doctor had no other choice than prescribed tablets of Zelitrex 500mg (Valacyclovir) meanwhile, despite that it is very much less effective.
5th June – The cargo flight landed with only 8 vials of Ganciclovir, which I managed to grab hold of all the doses after approval with Wellkin, since I badly needed all of them immediately.
14th June – Dhaneesha had her last doses of Ganciclovir.
The chart below shows the 21 days whereby a mixture of Ganciclovir (IV) and Zelitrex (Tablet) was administered :
Important observation to note : Ganciclovir IV was quite painful as it required frequent changes of the vein through which the dose is injected. Sometimes, Dhaneesha had to have another cannula each day or after 3 doses.
Fortunately, after the treatment she is much better with no high temperatures anymore. However, she was advised to take some medical rest (and lots of sleep) before resuming work or any other activity. Despite feeling okay, she feels less strong and gets tired very easily.
We are already at the end of the month of July (so, 4 months after the Covaxine shot) and she will resume work in the next days.
Medical Board for the Covid-19 Vaccine
Her doctors in Wellkin were categoric – She should not go for another dose of the vaccine given the side effects the first shot caused, especially because of lack of data regarding possible known side effects.
So, around the 15th July 2021, Dhaneesha went to the Ministry of Health’s medical board for the Covid-19 vaccine to get their opinion on the topic. The board consisted of multiple doctors (around 4 persons) and after relating her story, with her medical records as evidence, the board members looked confused. They talked among themselves and informed her that her case will be referred to the High Level Committee.
A week later, on the 23th July, she was called to attend that High Level Committee which comprises of the heads in charge of the said committee. After going through the events one more time, they said that
- The vaccine was not to be blamed for the side effects caused
- She should do another dose
- But instead of Covaxine, she should now do the Sinopharm one
So, that was the decision of the medical board. Do they have enough data to justify their decision? We all know their level of competency in regards to the number of side-effects cases reported. Around 1500 cases as announced by Jagutfoncé in the national assembly.
We informed Dhaneesha’s doctors in Wellkin again and she was given a medical certificate that says that she needs to wait for at least 2 months for another evaluation before going for the second dose.
So now, lets keep fingers crossed and wait….