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No correlation of vaccine trial with Chennai volunteer's side effect claim: SII on his legal notice

ANI | Updated: Nov 29, 2020 21:57 IST

By Sahil Pandey
New Delhi [India], November 29 (ANI): After a Chennai-based man claimed that he suffered neurological and psychological side effects after taking a shot of COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covishield during the human trial, being conducted by Serum Institute of India's (SII), the Pune-based company on Sunday said there was no correlation between the two, adding that it will seek damages in excess of Rs 100 crore for the same.
Replying to a legal notice sent by the volunteer on November 21, the SII said the allegations 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. The volunteer is falsely laying the blame for his medical problems on the COVID vaccine trial."
The SII further stated that the volunteer was specifically informed by the medical team that the complications he suffered were independent of the vaccine trial he underwent.
"It is evident that the intention behind the spreading 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," the vaccine manufacturer said.
Despite specifically being made aware of the same, the volunteer still chose to go public and malign the reputation of the company, the SII added.
The Chennai-based man has demanded a compensation of Rs 5 crore from the SII after his health worsened allegedly after volunteering for the clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine.
The participant, according to the legal notice, has been diagnosed with "acute neuro encephalopathy", which has allegedly been linked with the Covishield shots he took on October 1.
The vaccine candidate, Covishield, is being developed by the UK's Oxford University and US pharma giant AstraZeneca. The SII is a manufacturing partner for the vaccine.
In the legal notice, the participant asked the ICMR, DCGI, AstraZeneca and Oxford University, along with SII to stop testing, manufacturing and distributing the vaccine. (ANI)