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Astrazeneca Vaccine Injection

AstraZeneca formally admits that its COVID-19 vaccine can cause rare side effect

In court documents, AstraZeneca has admitted for the first time that its covid vaccine can cause a rare side-effect.

Posted on 30 April 2024

The admission is confirmed by AstraZeneca in legal documents responding to a group action claim launched by Leigh Day partner Sarah Moore under section 2 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 against the pharmaceutical giant, AstraZeneca. It is expected that the claims could be worth millions of pounds.

Fifty-one claimants represented by Sarah are pursuing the claim due to injuries allegedly caused by the Vaxzevria Astra Zeneca COVID-19 Vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca UK Limited (AZUK). Twelve of the claimants are acting on the behalf of a loved one who died following a complication allegedly caused by the vaccine.

All twelve of the bereaved claimants have received death certificates or medical evidence that confirms that the AZUK vaccine caused the deaths and injuries suffered by their loved ones.

The claimants say that they, or their loved one, suffered Vaccine Induced Immune Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia (VITT) which is a form of Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) as a direct result of the AZUK vaccine. This is a rare syndrome characterised by blood clotting and insufficiency of platelets.

TTS can have life-threatening consequences including strokes, brain damage, heart attacks, pulmonary embolism (a blockage of an artery in the lungs) and amputation.

Although AstraZeneca has disputed the claims, a legal document submitted to the Court to clarify their defence in February this year stated that its vaccine “can, in very rare cases, cause TTS.”

Sarah is calling for the government to review the Vaccine Damages Payment Scheme (VDPS), which was set up in 1979 as a temporary measure to provide a lump-sum social security to children who had become severely disabled as a result of a vaccination.

The threshold for the VDPS payment requires a 60 per cent disability to qualify for a one-off payment. The scheme has been criticised for many years for its inaccessibility and the low and “arbitrary figure” awarded to individuals and families whose care needs and losses will in some cases run into millions of pounds.

International and product safety partner Sarah Moore said:

“It has taken AstraZeneca a year to formally admit that their vaccine has caused this harm, when this was a fact widely accepted by the clinical community since the end of 2021: In that context, regrettably it seems that AstraZeneca, the Government and their lawyers are more keen to play strategic games and run up legal feels than to engage seriously with the devastating impact that the vaccine has had upon our clients’ lives.”

"That is bad for our clients - but also potentially damaging for pandemic preparedness going forward. Vaccination in the UK relies on a social pact - in which healthy people get vaccinated for the good of society as a whole. In that context, to maintain that social pact the public need to understand that if, they are the victim of a rare adverse event, the Government will provide meaningful financial support without a legal battle."


Sarah Moore
International Product safety

Sarah Moore

Leading international and product safety lawyer

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