The Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine maker, went on the offensive after a participant in its coronavirus vaccine trial sued the company, alleging he had suffered severe side effects of jab.
In a counter-suit, SII demanded Rs 100 crore ($ 13.5 million) from the volunteer for its “malicious and ill-conceived” claim that Covishield, a version of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University Covid-19 jab, led to a medical episode.
In a statement, the company said it was “sensitive to the state of health of the volunteer,” but that there was “absolutely no correlation with the vaccine trial and the state of health of the volunteer. “. The Pune-based drugmaker pointed out that the volunteer was “specifically informed by the medical team that the complications he suffered were unrelated to the vaccine trial he had undergone,” but the individual “Had nevertheless chosen to go public and denigrate the reputation” of SII.
The volunteer, a 40-year-old man from Chennai, claims to have suffered severe neurological damage after participating in Covishield’s phase three trial. He sued SII for Rs 5 crore ($ 676,000) and demanded that SII, AstraZeneca and the Oxford Vaccine Group immediately stop vaccine trials, involving some 1,600 volunteers.
The man reportedly suffered from headaches and vomiting ten days after receiving the stroke. He was taken to hospital after showing abnormal behavior.
The trial participant was then released at his own request. Hospital documents indicated that he was recovering from “acute encephalopathy”, suffered from vitamin deficiencies and was suspected of having “connective tissue disorder”.
A medical official quoted by local media said the man was “now fine” and had incurred no expenses for his stay in the emergency room. The man’s wife claims he has not fully recovered.
In September, SII halted clinical trials with Covishield after a recipient of the AstraZeneca vaccine experienced unwanted symptoms.
The lawsuit and counter-action come as SII prepares to apply for an emergency authorization to distribute and administer Covishield in India.
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