Covid-19 vaccine trial: Man allegedly demands Rs 5 crore compensation claiming side effect

An EEG test showed that the brain was affected partially says the notice from the man

Health News, National, New Delhi, November 30:-A 40-year-old man who took part in the corona vaccine trial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca that is being tested and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India has alleged serious side-effects post the trial. The man claimed to have suffered virtual neurological breakdown and impairment of cognitive functions, following which he demanded a compensation of Rs 5 crore from the firm.
Reacting to the allegations made by the man, Serum Institute has threatened to seek damages in excess of Rs 100 crore. In a legal notice submitted by the man to Serum Institute and others, Rs 5 crore in compensation along with a halt to the trial has been sought. Calling the vaccine unsafe, he has also demanded the cancellation of approval for the testing, ‘manufacture and distribution,’ a report by PTI stated.

The Indian Council of Medical Research, one of the sponsors besides SII, and Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, which administered the vaccine to the man, have also been served with the notice.

“The allegations in the notice are malicious and misconceived. While the Serum Institute of India is sympathetic to the volunteer’s medical condition, there is absolutely no correlation with the vaccine trial and the medical condition of the volunteer. It is evident that the intention behind the spreading of such malicious information is 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,” a statement by the Institute said. The notice alleged that the man suffered encephalopathy, damage or disease that affects the brain, following the vaccination and all tests confirmed that the effects on his health were due to the test vaccine.

The notice further stated that the impact suffered by the man due to the vaccination ‘clearly proves’ that the vaccine was not as safe as it is being made out to be and all the stakeholders are trying to hide the adverse effect that the vaccine has had on him. An electroencephalogram (EEG) test showed that the brain was affected partially (dysfunction involving both hemispheres and the ascending sensory pathways on both sides from both the lower extremities).

In a psychiatric evaluation conducted a mild deficit in verbal and visual memory functions and an under-functioning in overall cognitive functions were observed. “He has gone through extreme sufferings, both neurologically and psychologically. The vaccine had led to a virtual neurological breakdown in him,” the notice said. The man was administered the vaccine on October 1. Though there were no side effects for the first 10 days, he subsequently had episodes like severe headache and vomiting. Detailing the sequence of events since October 11 when he was admitted to the Ramachandra Hospital and as narrated by the man’s wife, the notice said he showed behavioural changes. He could neither recognise anyone nor speak and was totally disoriented and was shifted to the ICU and was on October 26, ‘discharged at our (family’s) request,’ a report by PTI stated.

The legal notice has also been addressed to the Drugs Controller General of India, professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator, Oxford vaccine trial, The Jenner Institute Laboratories of the University of Oxford and Astra Zeneca UK.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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