The Madras High Court on Friday issued notices to the Union health ministry and five other respondents including India’s drug regulatory body, ICMR, Serum Institute of India, AstraZeneca and Sri Ramachandra Higher education and Research seeking their response over a petition to declare the Serum Institute of India’s coronavirus vaccine – Covishield – “unsafe”.
According to reports, the petition was filed by a 41-year-old man, Asif Riaz, from Chennai who demanded an interim injunction on the administration of Covishield to the public and a compensation of Rs 5 crore for the side effects incurred after undergoing the vaccine trial.
As per IANS, Riaz in the petition stated that he suffered from acute neuro encephalopathy days after taking the vaccine shot and his health deteriorated.
Coronavirus vaccine Covishield is made by Oxford-AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. The vaccine is sold at a price of Rs 1,000 per dose in private markets. It is one of the two vaccines that have been granted emergency use approval in India.
However, the petitioner has urged the court to declare Covishield as “unsafe” claiming that he developed multiple complications and was hospitalised for 16 days after administering the vaccine.
Meanwhile, the Serum Institute of India in return filed a Rs 100-crore defamation case against him. The central government on the hand clarified that none of the deaths and severe adverse reactions following immunisation have been attributed to the vaccines as yet. The high court has asked the Centre and DCGI to reply by March 26.