After months of being in the dark about the rapidly spreading COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus, scientists and researchers first began giving out information on staying safe from the deadly Virus, while also racing against time to identify a potent vaccine against it! Now, a number of vaccine candidates are in the final stages of testing, ready to move into production after receiving adequate approvals from the regulatory bodies. The Serum Institute of India (SII) is one of the world's largest vaccine manufacturing companies and an entity that has tied up with AstraZeneca to trial the COVID-19 vaccine candidate - Covishield! Recently, there were some very encouraging reports about the efficacy of Covishield and some speculations were that SII were even looking to apply for emergency approval to manufacture the vaccine!

Unfortunately, SII has now been dragged into a messy situation but has hit back strongly! It has come to light that SII has filed a defamation suit against one of their own COVID vaccine testing volunteers! Reports state that the Chennai-based volunteer had falsely blamed SII's COVID vaccine trials, for his own health issues. The volunteer is said to have alleged that his participation in the vaccine trial had lead to him developing an adverse reaction, including a neurological impairment. The volunteer had sent a legal notice to SII on November 21, suing the company for Rs. 5 Crores. However, in response, SII has called these allegations as malicious and misconceived. A statement issued by a spokesperson of SII states that though the company sympathises with the volunteer's medical condition, it had "absolutely no correlation with the vaccine trial and the medical condition of the volunteer."

The statement went on to add that the claims made by the volunteer were malicious claims, as the medical team had very clearly, already informed the volunteer that his medical conditions were independent of the vaccine trial he was a part of. SII has filed a defamation suit against the volunteer, for publicly maligning the reputation of the company, despite him being made aware of all the medical details, priorly itself. It is said that the volunteer was administered a dose of the SII vaccine candidate Covishield on October 1, at the Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education & Research, in Chennai. These are some disturbing claims against the AstraZeneca vaccine candidate, which is being jointly developed by Oxford University. Stay tuned for updates...