World’s Largest Vaccine Maker Denies Trial Volunteer’s Illness Claims




The Serum Institute of India Ltd. denied allegations that a Covid-19 trial volunteer in India suffered serious side effects from a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc and Oxford University, and said it would take legal action over the claims.

Serum, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, is conducting trials of AstraZeneca’s shot locally as part of a manufacturing agreement. It’s being sued by a volunteer in the southern Indian city of Chennai, who said he suffered from serious neurological and psychological symptoms after taking the experimental shot, according to news reports.

The volunteer is seeking compensation of 50 million rupees ($676,000). Serum said in a statement on Sunday that the volunteer’s illness had nothing to do with the vaccine and that it would counter-sue.

The incident adds to the global attention on AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, a fast-moving shot that’s one of three western efforts which could be approved before the end of the year. Development that usually takes years has been compressed into months due to the urgency of the pandemic, and questions are growing over whether safety has been compromised in the rush.

The volunteer in India was given the Covishield vaccine on Oct. 1 and had to spend time in an ...


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