Doctors group raises concerns over Covishield vaccine side effects

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca admitting in a U.K. court that its vaccine can cause blood clots in rare cases

Updated - May 16, 2024 10:02 am IST

Published - May 16, 2024 02:24 am IST - Bengaluru

A file photo of a healthworker showing empty vials of Covishield vaccine.

A file photo of a healthworker showing empty vials of Covishield vaccine. | Photo Credit: File photo

A group of doctors under the banner of Awaken India Movement (AIM) have raised concerns over the side effects of Covishield vaccine in the wake of pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca admitting in a U.K. court that its vaccine can cause blood clots in rare cases.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, the group urged the government to “review the science behind all COVID-19 vaccines, including Covishield, that were approved under emergency use authorisation and without completing clinical trials.”

“We want the government to audit the commercialisation of COVID-19 vaccines as well as implement an active surveillance and monitoring mechanism to ensure vaccine adverse events are identified as early as possible,” said Veena Raghava and Banu Prakash, doctors who are part of the group.

“The government has wholly ignored the rising number of cases of tragic deaths post-COVID vaccination all the while and continues to promote COVID-19 vaccines as ‘safe and effective’, without scientific investigation and invoking epidemiology,” Dr. Prakash said.

“The world is learning about a side effect of the vaccine called Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS). But, the Indian government knew about it since May 2021. Snehal Lunawat, a 33-year-old frontline worker, died after getting Covishield. Her death has been confirmed by the National Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) Committee as a Vaccine Product Related Reaction death. The family asked Serum Institute for help, but they denied that their vaccine could cause TTS,” he said.

Manjunath, national steering committee member of AIM, said when the COVID-19 vaccines were being administered, not many people were aware that it was being done without the completion of phase-3 trials.

“Administration of COVID-19 vaccines was started without the manufacturers having complete information and data on the possible short-term or long-term side effects, or fatalities,” he said.

“We demand that all vaccine victims or their family members are adequately compensated by the Central government and the vaccine manufacturers. Fast track courts and vaccine courts should be formed to provide swift justice to the vaccine injured and their families,” he added.

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