Chennai: Serum Institute of India has rejected allegations that AstraZeneca-Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate has serious side effects and said it will seek damages in excess of Rs 100 crore for malicious allegations.
The vaccine maker has decided to sue a 40-year-old Chennai-based business consultant, who was a volunteer for the third phase of the vaccine trial conducted by SII.
He has alleged serious side effects, including a virtual neurological breakdown and impairment of cognitive functions and has sought Rs 5 crore compensation in a legal notice to SII and others, besides seeking a halt to the trial.
He was administered the shot at Chennai’s Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (SRIHER), one of the trial sites.
In a statement, SII said, “The allegations in the notice are malicious and misconceived. While the Serum Institute of India is sympathetic with the volunteer’s medical condition, there is absolutely no correlation with the vaccine trial and the medical condition of the volunteer.”
It added that the volunteer is falsely laying the blame for his medical problems on the Covid vaccine trial.
“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. In spite of specifically being made aware of the same, he still chose to go public and malign the reputation of the company,” stated.
It is evident that the intention behind the spreading of such malicious information is an oblique pecuniary motive, it said and added: “The Serum Institute of India, will seek damages in excess of (Rs) 100 crore for the same and will defend such malicious claims.”