Mumbai, November 29: The Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), which was issued a Rs 5 crore compensation notice by a Chennai man who claimed to have developed adverse health after undergoing the vaccine trials, called his allegation absolutely false. The SII, in a statement issued in response to his notice, said there was no correlation between his health condition and the experimental vaccine candidate.

The SII, a partner of Oxford University and British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca, is the designated authority to test and manufacture the vaccine candidate in India. Following the third phase of trials, a volunteer from Chennai claimed that he suffered from "serious neurological and psychological symptoms". Oxford Vaccine: Chennai Man Who Volunteered For Trials Seeks Rs 5 Crore Compensation, Says Suffered 'Neurological and Psychological Issues'.

The person, identified as a 40-year-old business consultant, was administered the vaccine on October 1 at the Sri Ramachandra Higher Education and Research.

On November 21, he issued a notice to the SII, Drug Controller General of India, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, CEO, AstraZeneca UK, Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator, Oxford Vaccine Trial and Vice Chancellor of Sri Ramachandra Higher Education and Research.

He sought a compensation of Rs 5 crore, along with a complete halt on the further trial, manufacturing and distribution of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate in India.

Serum Institute Rejects His Charge

"Serum Institute of India is sympathetic with volunteer’s medical condition, there's absolutely no correlation with vaccine trial and his medical condition. He's falsely laying blame for his medical problems on trial," the SII statement read.

"The claim is malicious because volunteer was specifically informed by medical team that complications he suffered were independent of vaccine trial he underwent. In spite of specifically being made aware of the same, he still chose to go public and malign reputation of company," it added.

The Cyrus Poonawalla-led organisation said it will initiate counter-legal action against the volunteer for defaming the vaccine candidate. "It is evident that the intention behind spreading of such malicious information is an oblique pecuniary motive. We will seek damages in excess of Rs 100 crores for the same and will defend such malicious claims," the statement further said.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 29, 2020 08:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website