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Plea in SC seeks expert panel to examine possible side effects, risk factors of Covishield vaccine

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New Delhi: A plea was filed in the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking constitution of a medical expert panel under the supervision of a retired apex court judge to examine any possible side effects and risk factors of the Covishield vaccine.

It claimed that UK-headquartered pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has said that its vaccine against COVID-19, which was made under licence in India as Covishield, could cause low platelet counts and formation of blood clots in “very rare” cases.

The application, filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari, also sought a direction to the Centre to compensate those who are severely disabled or have died because of any side effects of the vaccine administered to them during Covid.

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

“After Covid-19, there has been increase in the cases of death due to heart attack and sudden collapse of persons. There have been 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 upon the risk and hazardous consequences of Covishield vaccine which have been administered to the citizens at a large number,” the application said.

It said the government is required to take immediate steps for the sake of safety and health of citizens and the issue has to be looked upon by the Centre on priority so that in future, no risk may occur regarding the health and life of Indian citizens.

The application said AstraZeneca’s vaccine formula was licensed to Pune-based vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) and over 175 crore doses of Covishield have been administered in the country.

It said a large number of Covishield doses were administered to the citizens on the assurance of the government about its safety.

The application said in some countries like the UK, there is “vaccine damage payment system” for people who get severely disabled due to vaccination.

It has sought directions to constitute a medical expert panel comprising of experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, headed by its director and supervised by a retired judge of the top court to examine the Covishield vaccine side effects and its risk factors.

It has also sought a direction to the Centre to establish a “vaccine damage payment system” for citizens who got severely disabled as a result of a vaccination drive during Covid-19.

The application has been moved in a pending petition of 2021 filed by Tiwari seeking action against alleged fake vaccines.

AstraZeneca has admitted that in “very rare cases”, its Covid vaccine, which is known as Vaxzevria in Europe and Covishield in India, can cause a blood clot-related side effect but the causal link is unknown, according to court papers being quoted in the UK media.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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