Covishield | Plea in Supreme Court for probe panel for vaccine’s ‘risk factors’

The petition in the apex court comes after pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca’s admission in U.K. court documents that its vaccine against COVID-19 has the potential to cause Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome.

Updated - May 02, 2024 02:49 am IST

Published - May 01, 2024 01:11 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

A health worker inoculates a dose of covishield vaccine against the Covid-19 coronavirus at a special booster vaccination drive at a government health center in Hyderabad. File photo

A health worker inoculates a dose of covishield vaccine against the Covid-19 coronavirus at a special booster vaccination drive at a government health center in Hyderabad. File photo | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The controversy over the safety aspects of the Covishield vaccine reached the Supreme Court on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, with a petition seeking the constitution of an expert medical panel to study the risk factors.

Also read: AstraZeneca’s submission in U.K. court nothing new, say doctors over Covishield’s potential to cause blood clots

“More than 175 crore doses of Covishield have been administered in India. After Covid 19 there have been an increase in deaths due to heart attack and sudden collapse of persons. There have been a number of cases of heart attack even in youngsters. Now after the document filed in UK court by the developer of Covishield, we are compelled to think on the risk and hazardous consequences of Covishield vaccine which have been administered to the citizens at a large number,” the petition filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari said.

The plea pointed out that AstraZeneca, the company which developed the vaccine, has said that its AZD1222 vaccine against Covid-19, which was made under licence in India as Covishield, could cause low platelet counts and formation of blood clots in rare cases.

It said AstraZeneca has accepted a link between the vaccine and Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS), a medical condition characterised by abnormally low levels of platelets and the formation of blood clots.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine formula was licensed to Pune-based vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII).

AIIMS expert-headed panel sought

The petition said the medical.panel should be headed by an expert from AIIMS and supervised by a retired Supreme Court judge.

Mr. Tiwari further sought directions to the Centre to establish a ‘Vaccine Damage Payment System’ citizens or families who have suffered debilitating health setbacks or even deaths after taking the vaccine.

The plea has also called for trict action against the circulation of spurious vaccines.

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