German drug company BioNTech is facing hundreds of lawsuits, worth one million euros, in the country for alleged health damage due to its Covid-19 vaccine, co-developed with American pharma giant Pfizer.
While about 224 million Covid vaccine doses were administered in Germany, nearly three-quarters were Pfizer-BioNTech's mRNA jabs, Financial Times reported. BioNTech pioneered the use of messenger RNA in vaccines and shot to fame during the Covid pandemic.
On Monday, the company faces its first lawsuit, in a regional court in Hamburg, filed by a middle-aged medical worker who is seeking 150,000 euros in damages for heart arrhythmia and brain fog which she says were caused after receiving the mRNA jab.
The lawsuit also claims that the mRNA jab caused her upper-body pain, swollen extremities, fatigue, and sleeping disorder.
BioNTech, on its part, claims that the woman has failed to demonstrate a "causal relationship between the adverse events and the vaccine" rather than a coincidental one and described the lawsuit as "without merit", the report said.
Stating that it is confident that the cases would be dismissed, the company said it has also decided not to set aside provisions to cover possible compensation claims.
According to Tobias Ulbrich, a lawyer at Rogert & Ulbrich, one of the law firms representing the claims, blood tests on some of his clients have shown them to be suffering from a "vaccine-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome" or "V-AIDS" -- a syndrome that respected scientists say is not real, the report noted.
"Continuous monitoring of the vaccine's safety profile and after more than 2.6 billion doses of (the Covid-19 vaccine) administered worldwide has to date not identified potential side effects other than those already listed in the respective product information," BioNTech was quoted as saying.
Several peer-reviewed studies have pointed out side effects of Covid-19 vaccinations, neurological complications and an inflammation of the heart known as myocarditis. However, they are rare.
Even if BioNTech gets a verdict which is not in its favour, it is likely to have limited direct financial damage because of a legal shield by the European Union that largely protected vaccine makers from legal liability if they caused unforeseen side effects, the report said.
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