Dozens of families damaged by a rare reaction to AstraZeneca jab take legal action
Dozens of families damaged by a rare reaction to the AstraZeneca Covid 19 jab have have launched legal action against the pharmaceutical company.
The action is being taken by the families of 19 people who died after being vaccinated and 54 patients who suffered severe reactions but survived.
The 54 who survived the reaction have been diagnosed as having vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), a rare condition that has been identified after Covid-19 vaccination.
According to an exclusive report in the i Newspaper, the group are pursuing personal injury compensation in addition to a Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme claim.
Their lawyers argue that the AstraZeneca vaccine was “not as safe as the public were entitled to expect” and that the case is not about finding fault “but about the reasonable expectation of safety”.
Pre-action protocol letters have been sent to the Cambridge-based Anglo-Swedish company, which has yet to formally respond to the claims.
Peter Todd, consultant solicitor with Scott-Moncrieff & Associates Ltd told the i Newspaper: “According to the MHRA, in the UK up to 23 November, 2022, there had been 445 reports of major blood clots (thrombosis) with concurrent low platelets (thrombocytopenia) reported after AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, including, tragically, 81 deaths.
“These include strokes, heart attacks, amputations and other major life-changing injuries. This is an unusually large number of very serious injuries to have been caused by a vaccine.
"We expect to be able to establish in court that these clots were likely caused by the vaccine.”
A Government spokesperson told the paper: “All vaccines being used in the UK have undergone robust clinical trials and have met the MHRA’s strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.
"The vaccine damage payments scheme provides additional support to help ease the burden on individuals who have, in extremely rare circumstances, been severely disabled due to receiving a government-recommended vaccine for a listed disease.”
AstraZeneca said it was unable to comment on “ongoing legal matters” regarding its Covid vaccine, also known as Vaxzevria.
A spokesman told the i: “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 reported health problems.
“AstraZeneca and regulatory authorities, carefully record and assess all reports of potential adverse events associated with use of Vaxzevria.
"From the body of evidence in clinical trials and real-world data, Vaxzevria 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.
“The MHRA granted conditional marketing approval for Vaxzevria for the UK based on the safety profile and efficacy of the vaccine.
"Over 3 billion doses of the vaccine have been supplied to more than 180 countries and, according to independent estimates, Vaxzevria helped to save more than six million lives worldwide in the first year of availability alone.”
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, developed by Oxford scientists, was the first to be approved for use in the UK with the Government ordering 100 million doses for use in its vaccination programme.
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This story was written by Miranda Norris, she joined the team in 2021 and covers news across Oxfordshire as well as news from Witney.
Get in touch with her by emailing: Miranda.Norris@newsquest.co.uk. Or find her on Twitter: @Mirandajnorris
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