Serum Institute To Sue Vaccine Volunteer For Rs 100 Cr For ‘False Claim’ On Post-Trial Illness
Pune: The Serum Institute of India (SII) has said it will file a Rs 100-crore defamation suit against a Covishield vaccine trial participant for “malicious and misconceived” that he had suffered a “virtual neurological breakdown” after being administered a dose.
In a statement issued on Sunday evening, the SII said while it sympathised with the volunteer’s medical condition, there was “absolutely no correlation with the vaccine trial and the medical condition of the volunteer”, NDTV reported.
“The allegations in the notice are malicious and misconceived. The volunteer is falsely laying the blame for his medical problems on the COVID vaccine trial,” the statement said.
“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,” it added.
The SII would seek at least Rs 100 crore in damages and would continue to defend itself from all such claims, the statement said.
Earlier, a 40-year-old Chennai man, who was a volunteer for the third phase of the COVID-19 vaccine trial conducted by the SII, had claimed Rs 5 crore as compensation for “a serious adverse event after being administered the under-trial vaccine”.
He was administered the dose at Chennai’s Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (SRIHER) on October 1.
According to his legal notice, which was filed November 21, he began experiencing “severe headaches”, “total behavioural change” and “irritation towards light and sound” 10 days after he received the dose. Subsequently, he could not recognise or speak to anyone, the notice claimed.
The notice further said that on October 26, he was discharged from hospital after suffering from “acute encephalopathy” that was “an extreme side effect of the test vaccine”.