Chennai-based volunteer served a Rs 5 crore compensatory legal notice to the Serum Institute of India (SII) against the neurological complications he claimed to have developed after being administered a test dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca ‘Covishield’ vaccine for coronavirus.
The 40-year-old volunteer, who works as a business consultant, had, in the legal notice, stated that he “must be compensated, in the least, for all the sufferings that he and his family have undergone” because the candidate vaccine was not safe.
The participant has been diagnosed with acute neuro encephalopathy, which he alleged was a side-effect of the ‘Covishield’ shots he took on October 1.
He also sought to cancel the approval for its testing, ‘manufacture and distribution’, failing which he said he would take legal action against the institute. Along with the SII, a legal notice was also served to the Indian Council of Medical Research and Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research – other avenues involved in the development and production of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate.
Dismissing the participant’s claim, the institute has said that allegations made by the Chennai participant are “malicious and misconceived” and the Pune-based pharma giant countered with a demand of Rs 100 crore as damages to its reputation.
Lawyers representing Chennai-based volunteer of the Oxford Covishield COVID-19 vaccine trial said that the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) was attempting to intimidate their client. “Our client states that the severe trauma he went through from 11th October 2020, because of the “Acute Neuro Encephalopathy” that he suffered, is an extreme side-effect of the test vaccine that he took on 1st October 2020,” said the legal notice issued by NGR Prasad & R Rajaram Advocates, on behalf of the participant. “Our client’s wife states that he is still not stable, has severe mood swings, has problems with comprehending and focusing on things, and is finding it difficult to even do simple routine things like making online payments, leave alone focusing on work-related matters,” it explains.