Sunday, June 25, 2023

BioNTech Faces First German Lawsuit Over Alleged COVID Vaccine Side Effects; COVID-19 Inquiry in U.K. Asks Whether ‘terrible consequences’ Could Have Been Avoided, and other C-Virus related stories

BioNTech facility in Marburg
BioNTech faces first German lawsuit over alleged COVID vaccine side effects
BioNTech will go to court on Monday to defend itself against a lawsuit from a German woman who is seeking damages for alleged side effects of its COVID-19 vaccine, the first of potentially hundreds of cases in the country. 
The woman, exercising her right under German privacy law for her name not to be made public, is suing the German vaccine maker for at least 150,000 euro ($161,500) in damages for bodily harm as well as compensation for unspecified material damage, according to the regional court in Hamburg which is hearing the case and law firm Rogert & Ulbrich, which is representing her.
The plaintiff claims she suffered upper-body pain, swollen extremities, fatigue and sleeping disorder due to the vaccine.
The first hearing is on Monday.
Tobias Ulbrich, a lawyer at Rogert & Ulbrich, told Reuters he aimed to challenge in court the assessment made by European Union regulators and German vaccine assessment bodies that the BioNTech shot has a positive risk-benefit profile.
German pharmaceutical law states that makers of drugs or vaccines are only liable to pay damages for side-effects if "medical science" shows that their products cause disproportionate harm relative to their benefits or if the label information is wrong.
BioNTech, which holds the marketing authorisation in Germany for the shot it developed with Pfizer , said it concluded after careful consideration that the case was without merit.
"The positive benefit-risk profile of Comirnaty remains positive and the safety profile has been well characterised," the biotech firm said, referring to the vaccine's brand name. --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/Alastair Grant
COVID-19 inquiry in U.K. asks whether ‘terrible consequences’ could have been avoided
A mammoth three-year public inquiry into the U.K. government‘s handling of the response to COVID-19 opened Tuesday by asking whether suffering and death could have been avoided with better planning.
Lawyer Hugo Keith, who is counsel to the inquiry, said the coronavirus pandemic had brought “death and illness on an unprecedented scale” in modern Britain. He said that COVID-19 has been recorded as a cause of death for 226,977 people in the U.K.
“The key issue is whether that impact was inevitable,” Keith said. “Were those terrible consequences inexorable, or were they avoidable or capable of mitigation?”
A group of people who lost relatives to COVID-19 held pictures of their loved one outside the inquiry venue, an anonymous London office building. The first day of public hearings began with a 17-minute video in which people described the devastating impact of the pandemic on them and their loved ones.
Britain’s pandemic death toll is one of the highest in Europe, and the decisions of then Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government have been endlessly debated. Johnson agreed in late 2021 to hold an inquiry after pressure from bereaved families.
The inquiry, led by retired judge Heather Hallett, is due to hold hearings until 2026. It is due to investigate the U.K.’s preparedness for a pandemic, how the government responded and what lessons can be learned for the future. --->READ MORE HERE
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