• Tuesday, June 18, 2024

HEALTH

Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine challenged in High Court

The firm supplied 3 billion doses of the vaccine to more than 180 countries and said that an independent study had found it had been responsible for saving 6 million lives

Vials of the Covid-19 vaccine – Representative Image – Credit Flickr.com

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

The Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, recognised as Vaxzevria in Europe and licensed as Covishield in India, is confronting a legal challenge in the High Court in London, a media report said on Thursday (9).

According to ‘The Daily Telegraph’, UK-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca could face a number of further claims based on the outcome of test cases around the condition identified by specialists as Vaccine Induced Immune Thrombocytopenia and Thrombosis (VITT), believed to be related to the side effects of the Covid jab.

AstraZeneca has stressed that patient safety is its “highest priority” and pointed out that regulators around the world “consistently state that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of extremely rare potential side effects”.

“The fact of this legal battle poses a fundamental question: in circumstances where individuals are seriously injured or die because of a vaccination recommended by the government – should the state provide access to adequate compensation, or should the bereaved and injured be required to fight for compensation in the courts against the vaccine producer,” states Sarah Moore, a partner at the law firm Hausfeld, which is bringing the case on behalf of the Covid vaccine claimants.

Among the claimants for damages is Indian-origin Anish Tailor, whose wife – 35-year-old Alpa Tailor – died in April 2021, just under a month after having the vaccine. An inquest in September 2021 is said to have determined she died from blood clots and bleeding on the brain caused by VITT.

The test claim is being brought by Jamie Scott, a father-of-two who suffered brain injury after receiving the jab in April 2021, who is also part of the “Vaccine Injured and Bereaved vs AstraZeneca – VITT Litigation” CrowdJustice group, which has raised over GBP 8,000 of its GBP 10,000 target to support its legal “fighting fund”.

In its statement, AstraZeneca said, “We do not comment on ongoing litigation matters.”

However, it added, “Patient safety is our highest priority and regulatory authorities have clear and stringent standards to ensure the safe use of all medicines, including vaccines. Our sympathy goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones or reported health problems.

“From the body of evidence in clinical trials and real-world data, Vaxzevria has continuously been shown to have an acceptable safety profile and regulators around the world consistently state that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of extremely rare potential side effects.”

The firm also pointed out that it supplied 3 billion doses of the vaccine to more than 180 countries and that an independent study had found it had been responsible for saving 6 million lives.

Meanwhile, a UK-based Indian-origin consultant cardiologist who has been campaigning for greater scrutiny of the Covid vaccines urged the Indian government to conduct its own investigation.

“After publishing research last year making the case for the suspension of the Covid mRNA vaccine over its safety, I was shocked to learn that as far as cardiovascular effects were concerned, the Covishield vaccine was even worse for its short-term cardiovascular harms,” said Dr Aseem Malhotra.

“Given this landmark case on AstraZeneca’s vaccine in the UK, in my view, it’s clear that neither of these vaccines should have been administered to a single human in the first place and certainly not without informed consent. I call on prime minister (Narendra) Modi to investigate,” he said.

(PTI)

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