"The allegations in the notice are malicious and misconceived. While the Serum Institute of India is sympathetic with the volunteer's medical condition, there is absolutely no correlation with the vaccine trial and the medical condition of the volunteer. The volunteer is falsely laying the blame for his medical problems on the COVID vaccine trial," the Serum Institute told the NDTV channel in a statement on Sunday evening.
According to the vaccine manufacturer, "the claim is malicious because the volunteer was specifically informed by the medical team that the complications he suffered were independent of the vaccine trial he underwent."
"In spite of specifically being made aware of the same, he still chose to go public and malign the reputation of the company," the statement read, adding that it would defend itself in court.
A 40-year-old Chennai resident, who was administered the vaccine on 1 October, has filed a legal notice, complaining that he began experiencing "severe headaches", "total behavioural change" and "irritation towards light and sound" 10 days after the inoculation. In late October, he was discharged from hospital after suffering from "acute encephalopathy," which he claims was "an extreme side effect of the test vaccine."
Trials for several COVID-19 vaccine candidates are currently underway in India. The Serum Institute of India is conducting phase 3 trials of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Oxford’s Covishield. In addition, the ZycovD vaccine pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila and a vaccine developed by Biological E. Limited, US-based Dynavax Technologies Corp and Baylor College of Medicine are also at the trial stage. Trials for Russia’s Sputnik V are to set to begin this week.