Updated May 8th, 2024 at 09:36 IST

Couple Links Daughter's Death to Covishield Vaccine, to Sue AstraZeneca

This comes after AstraZeneca, the British pharma giant, admitted flaws in the vaccine.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Covishield | Image: PTI

New Delhi: Trouble mounts for AstraZeneca, the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer which is already facing a legal battle in the UK over claims of deaths linked to its vaccine, as the parents of a 20-year-old woman, who had allegedly suffered side effects of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine which resulted in her death, have decided to sue it.

This comes after the British pharma giant admitted flaws in the vaccine. It admitted in a UK court that their vaccine can cause rare side effects that can lead to blood clots and low platelet count.


The woman, Karunya, passed away in 2021. Her father, Venugopalan Govindan said the admission was "too late" and came after "so many lives have been lost".

The COVID vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca, was manufactured in India by the Serum Institute of India (SII) under the name 'Covishield' and was widely administered here.


SII Remains Silent

The SII has not commented on the matter yet.


In a post on X, Venugopalan Govindan said the SII should have stopped the vaccine supply after 15 European countries either suspended or age-limited these vaccines due to the deaths from blood clots that happened in March 2021. He said the grieving parents are fighting for justice in various courts, but are not getting a hearing for their cases.

"If sufficient remedies aren't obtained, for the sake of justice and to prevent recurrence of this atrocity that was perpetrated in the name of public health, we will file fresh cases against any and all of those perpetrators because of whose actions the deaths of our children ensued. Eight of the victims' families have connected and I am echoing the common sentiments of all of us," he said.

"Serum Institute of India and Adar Poonawalla will have to answer for their sins. For the lives lost," Govindan tweeted.


Govindan also accused government authorities for approving the rollout of the vaccine and not sensitising people and the medical fraternity about it.

Earlier, Govindan and Rachana Gangu, who also lost her 18-year-old daughter, Rithaika, in 2021 had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking the appointment of a medical board to probe the deaths of their daughters and prepare a protocol for the early detection of the impact of vaccinations, besides compensation.


AstraZeneca's Legal Battle

AstraZeneca is facing a class action lawsuit in the UK over claims in at least 51 cases that its vaccine caused deaths and severe injuries in several cases. It had recently admitted that its vaccine can cause "in very rare cases, cause TTS". TTS stands for Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome, which causes blood clots and a low blood platelet count in humans.


The UK government, which has secured AstraZeneca from legal action, is yet to intervene in the matter.


Published May 3rd, 2024 at 12:55 IST