The Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufactures, filed a Rs 100 crore defamation suit against a volunteer who took part in the coronavirus vaccine trial and alleged that it caused an adverse reaction.
SII has joined forces with AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford to produce the Covishield vaccine in India.
The vaccine is considered to be offering one of the best hopes for many countries because of its low cost and ability to be stored at normal temperatures.
The volunteer sent a legal notice on 21st November and brought an action against Serum Institute for Rs 5 crore. In response, the SII denied the allegations and termed them “malicious” and “misconceived”.
In a statement, a SII spokesperson stated that while they sympathised with the volunteer’s medical condition, there was “absolutely no link with the vaccine trial and the medical condition of the volunteer”.
“The claim is malicious because the volunteer was specifically informed by the medical team that the complications he suffered were independent of the vaccine trial he underwent,” the spokesperson added.
The statement said. “The volunteer is falsely laying the blame for his medical problems on the Covid vaccine trial. Inspite of specifically being made aware of the same, he still chose to go public and malign the reputation of the company.”
The statement claimed the man was spreading “malicious information” with “an oblique pecuniary” motive. “The Serum Institute of India, will seek damages in excess of Rs 100 crore for the same and will defend such malicious claims,” it added.
The volunteer was administered given a dose of the vaccine at Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research on 1st October. Legal notice have also been sent to the Chief Executive of AstraZeneca in the United Kingdom, chief investigator of the Oxford trials and vice-chancellor of Ramachandra Institute.
The man has called for an immediate halt of the vaccine trial and all plans for its “manufacture and distribution” be suspended, failing which legal action would be taken. As per the legal notice, there was a “behavioural change” in the volunteer and he seemed unmindful about things around him.
“The trauma he underwent after taking it clearly proves that the vaccine was not safe as made out to be and all the stakeholders were trying to hide the adverse effect that the vaccine has had on him,” the notice read.
“He has gone through extreme sufferings, both biologically and psychologically. The vaccine had led to a virtual neurological breakdown in him.”
The legal notice further mentioned that no public disclosure about the incident has been made even after the volunteer reported his condition.
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