Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is facing a landmark High Court battle over allegations some doses of its Covid-19 vaccine were “defective” and claims about its effectiveness were “grossly exaggerated”.
Two test cases are expected before the court after recipients developed a rare condition following the vaccine rollout in 2021.
The vaccine, developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford, was hailed for its role in helping the UK recover from Covid, with more than 150 million doses administered to date. Studies show the vaccine saved about six million lives.
But it caused blood clots in a very small number of people, and some led to fatal complications. The condition is known as vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (VITT).
Computer engineer Jamie Scott has filed a lawsuit after suffering a brain hemorrhage the day after his first AstraZeneca injection, which left him with permanent brain damage.
The vaccine, developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford, was hailed for its role in the UK’s fight against Covid, with more than 150 million doses administered to date.
Computer engineer Jamie Scott suffered a brain haemorrhage the day after his first AstraZeneca jab, leaving him with permanent brain damage, and his wife Kate told The Mail on Sunday how the father-of-two, from Warwickshire, was left partially blind and struggles with daily tasks
Last year, his wife Kate told The Mail on Sunday how the father-of-two, from Warwickshire, became partially blind and struggles with daily tasks, requiring physiotherapy to help him regain movement.
Charity worker Mrs Scott said: “It’s a miracle Jamie is still with us.” I called the hospital three times to say goodbye. Doctors have said he may never work again.
Families are currently entitled to a payment of £120,000 if a loved one dies or becomes significantly disabled as a result of a government-recommended vaccine. But experts say the system is outdated, prompting the court action.
Mrs Scott added: “Even if we get the £120,000 payment, it is not enough to keep us going forever.” And it’s insulting, considering what Jamie has been through.
The widower and two children of Alpa Tailor, 35, who died after receiving the vaccine, are reportedly filing a second lawsuit.
If successful, it could pave the way for similar claims, believed to be around £1m each.
Scott’s lawyers told the Daily Telegraph they will argue that he suffered “personal injuries”, claiming the injection was “defective” and that the vaccine’s effectiveness had been misleading.
AstraZeneca said: “From the body of evidence obtained in clinical trials and real-world data, the vaccine has continually been shown to have an acceptable safety profile and regulators around the world consistently state that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the benefits.” risks of possible extremely rare side effects. -effects.’
Millions of Britons rolled up their sleeves when called to get vaccinated in the hope of protecting themselves, their vulnerable loved ones and society as a whole from the virus sweeping the country.
Compared to rival vaccines that used pioneering mRNA technology, AstraZeneca’s more traditional shot was cheaper and easier to store.
It uses a weakened version of an adenovirus, a pathogen that causes the common cold in chimpanzees. It is genetically modified so that it is incapable of making humans sick.
It carries genetic material from SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that causes Covid. This teaches the body’s immune system how to fight the real virus.
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca faces landmark High Court battle over allegations some doses of its Covid-19 vaccine were ‘defective’
The AstraZeneca vaccine is a genetically modified common cold virus that used to infect chimpanzees. It has been modified to weaken it so as not to cause disease in people and has been loaded with the coronavirus spike protein gene, which Covid-19 uses to invade human cells.
In a very small number of cases (around one in 100,000 in the UK), the vaccine can trigger a chain reaction that leads the body to mistake its own platelets for fragments of the virus.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine, administered in two doses up to 12 weeks apart, was praised as a game-changer during the pandemic.
The data suggested that two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine offered around 70 per cent protection against getting sick, which meant developing any symptoms of Covid, rather than being hospitalized because of it.
Other studies estimated that a single dose reduced the likelihood of hospitalization by up to 94 percent.
British authorities approved it for public use on December 30, 2020, just weeks after the data was published.
The first doses were administered on January 4, 2021, less than a month after the Pfizer vaccine. When the AstraZeneca vaccine was approved, then Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was a “moment to celebrate British innovation”.
But the landmark rollout was marred after reports of a rare but dangerous side effect that causes life-threatening blood clots.
Campaigners have demanded immediate changes to the “cruel” financial support scheme for Britons injured or bereaved by Covid vaccines like AstraZeneca’s.
Common side effects, which health chiefs say may affect more than 10 per cent of recipients, include fatigue, “flu-like” symptoms and pain in the arms or legs. Stomach pain, rash, and excessive sweating were rare, affecting about one in 100 people who got vaccinated.
Rare problems (about one in 1,000) include facial drooping on one side. Very rare side effects (one in 10,000) can cause paralysis in people.
The trials were not large enough to detect vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT, which can cause blood clots and has been linked to dozens of deaths and more injuries.
By opening the door for millions more Britons to receive the vaccine, as the UK did during the first months of 2021, VITT was effectively exposed. Officials detected a small but significant trend that allowed them to raise the alarm in the first week of April 2020.
The use of the vaccine was then limited to older age groups and is no longer used in booster campaigns.
Government estimates suggest blood clots occur when receiving the AstraZeneca shot in up to one in 10,000 people.
Specifically for VITT, the risk is believed to be highest for those under 50, with one in 50,000 affected. In people over 50, officials believe the risk is about one in 100,000.
The deaths from VITT were unexpected, but this does not necessarily mean that the AstraZeneca vaccine was defective.
Millions of Britons received the life-saving vaccine without suffering any complications.