Dentist dies of COVID vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia, kin to move court
Aurangabad: The family of a dentist, who died due to adverse reactions after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine earlier this year, has decided to approach the court for compensation along with a timely and correct investigation by the committee on adverse events.
The 34-year-old dentist, Dr Sneha Lunawat, who specialized in Oral Pathology and Microbiology had received the Covid-19 vaccine on January 28 following which she got a mild migraine and was given medication by the doctor. According to a media report in English Lokmat, her health worsened after attending an event in Delhi, and was eventually admitted to a hospital in Gurgaon due to a brain hemorrhage. After a fortnight's treatment, the doctor was eventually admitted to a hospital in Aurangabad where she passed away on March 1.
The doctor's family initially contacted the vaccine manufacturing company and later, filed a complaint with the government noting that her death was caused due to vaccine side effects. The complainant had demanded an explanation for her death which took place due to a clot in the brain, a result of a rare complexity caused by the COVID vaccine.
The assessment of the case was done by the National Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) on September 25 and its report was published on the website of the Department of Health and Family Welfare on October 2. The assessment result identified the diagnosis as vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia while stating that the "death case for which Causality assessment has been done was found to have a consistent causal association to vaccination". They categorized the incident as A1 meaning a "Vaccine Product Related Reaction", as per the Table of Index. The report also noted that the conclusion could vary depending on the availability of further information.
The doctor used to teach at a dental college and hospital near Igatpuri, Nashik District. She was a native of Igatpuri and was living in Aurangabad for the last few years. Her father is employed as a vice-president of a company.
The family of the deceased doctor however is concerned about the late and inadequate response from both the government and the vaccine manufacturer. Sneha's younger sister, Samruddhi Lunawat told the Economic Times, "Almost after seven months, the government has released the assessment report. We got to know about it on our own as we used to check the website every day."
She further added that even after the assessment confirmed her death to have happened due to the vaccination, nobody contacted the family yet. She said, "We had even emailed the company while she was hospitalized to help us. But they said it doesn't happen due to the vaccine."
The family then reportedly approached the World Health Organisation (WHO) which had started an investigation into the cases. The government panel investigating the serious adverse events following Covid vaccination had warned of the minuscule but definitive risk of blood clots after its administration. The Lunawat family reportedly feels that these directions are not enough.
According to Malini Aisola, co-convenor at All India Drugs Action Network (AIDAN) who stepped in to get the case reported, people should be informed about the risks through the adequate promotion of advisories, the government should respond adequately and timely in providing treatment including diagnosis, thorough investigation, and compensation.
She told ET, "The cases we have come across are because the families were able to approach a tertiary care institution in a big city", adding, "One can imagine the fate of persons who cannot access such care."
Health authorities have also said added that the unfortunate death was the rarest of rare cases. Lakhs of people have been safely vaccinated with no to panic, reports The Lokmat.