Tuesday, 23 April, 2024
HomeMedico-LegalLooming legal challenges against AstraZeneca over Covid jab

Looming legal challenges against AstraZeneca over Covid jab

AstraZeneca is facing legal action by a British man, Jamie Scott, who suffered a blood clot that left him with brain damage and unable to keep working after having the Covid-19 jab in April 2021.

The action, taken under the Consumer Protection Act, alleges the vaccine was “defective” as it was less safe than individuals were entitled to expect, reports BBC News.

In June 2022, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had said the AstraZeneca vaccine was “safe and effective for individuals aged 18 and above”.

A further claim from about 80 people who say they were injured by the AstraZeneca vaccine is also due to be launched later this year but Scott’s case is expected to be heard first.

The legal action is at least a year away from a full court hearing.

Scott was 44 when he received the AstraZeneca vaccine on 23 April 2021. His wife, Kate Scott, told the BBC: “Jamie has had more than 250 rehabilitation sessions from specialists, he had to learn to walk again, to swallow, to talk. (He has had) memory problems.

“Although he has done very well with them we are at the point now where this new version of Jamie… is the version that will go forward. He has cognition problems…he has aphasia…severe headaches, blindness.”

She added: “We need the government to reform the vaccine damage payment scheme. It is inefficient and unfair…”

AstraZeneca said: “Patient safety is our highest priority and regulatory authorities have clear and stringent standards to ensure the safe use of all medicines, including vaccines.

"Our sympathy goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones or reported health problems.

“From the … evidence in clinical trials and real-world data, Vaxzevria (the vaccine against Covid) has continuously been shown to have an acceptable safety profile and regulators around the world consistently state that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of extremely rare potential side effects.”

‘Wholly insufficient’

Many of the claimants have received one-off fixed tax-free payments of £120 000 under the UK Government’s Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS), which provides compensation for those injured or to bereaved next-of-kin.

Official figures obtained under a Freedom of Information request showed at least 144 out of 148 VDPS payments had gone to recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the Daily Telegraph reported. An attempt to have the VDPS overhauled is at the heart of these legal actions.

Claimants have to show the vaccine caused serious disability of at least 60%.

The families say the level of compensation is wholly insufficient and has not been adjusted for inflation since 2007.

On 7 April 2021, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advised adults aged under 30 be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine, after “reports of extremely rare blood clots in a very small number of people”.

On 7 May 2021, the guidance was amended to apply to adults under 40.

Not-for-profit basis

By September 2022, some 53m people in the UK had received at least one dose of Covid vaccine.

AstraZeneca manufactured the Oxford vaccine on a not-for-profit basis, the vaccine having saved more than 6m lives in its first year of use – more than any other Covid jab, an independent study published last year had estimated.

But within a few months of the AstraZeneca vaccine roll-out, cases began emerging of a potential side effect from blood clots. A condition known as vaccine-induced immune thrombosis and thrombocytopenia (VITT) was eventually identified.

The cases were so rare they had not been identified in the global trials of the vaccine.


BBC News article – AstraZeneca faces legal challenge over Covid vaccine (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Cerebral venous thrombosis and the AstraZeneca vaccine — UK cohort study


AstraZeneca sued over jab side effects


Successful treatment of VITT — University of Vienna case study




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