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Mumbai: Activists flag COVID vaccine safety concerns

Updated on: 07 May,2024 07:25 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Hemal Ashar |

Group brings safety to the fore, says intent is not to spread fear but bring about awareness and to inform

Mumbai: Activists flag COVID vaccine safety concerns

Stress your rights said activists at the event. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

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Mumbai: Activists flag COVID vaccine safety concerns

In light of the recent developments where AstraZeneca has accepted thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) as a side effect in the UK courts, Awaken India Movement (AIM) claimed it just had its ‘we told you so’ moment. The AIM representatives held a press conference on Monday afternoon at the Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh in Azad Maidan, south Mumbai, to reiterate their concerns COVID vaccines.

The conference began with Ambar Koiri, AIM steering committee, dubbing COVID as a ‘nakli bimaari’. He stressed that there were a high number of vaccine-related deaths. Koiri said, “Informed consent should have been taken prior to making people take the vaccine. So many central government employees were forced to take the vaccine. We have filed an RTI query for answers but it is still whirring in the air. Declarations like the vaccine’s ‘benefits outweighed risks’ is drama.”

Excess deaths

A packed house, many of them anti-vaxxer activists, listened as Dr Amitav Banerjee said that an “adverse events reporting system is needed”. There was a fiery Dr L Anande on the panel who stated that there were excess deaths in every country. “We have reports of students, young people dying while playing cricket, football and kabaddi. Did we hear of these earlier with such frequency? I have a word: it is called vacci-dents. This was an experimental vaccine from Day 1,” he asserted.

There was respectful silence as Dileep Lunawat spoke about how his young daughter, a dentist, Dr Snehal Lunawat, “died post-vaccination”. There was Dr A Chedda who said his friend, a healthy doctor died of ‘turbo cancer’, after taking the vaccine booster. Wikipedia cites turbo cancer as an anti-vaccination conspiracy theory.

Panellists stated angrily that they had often been wrongly labelled “conspiracy theorists”. A parent, Kiran Yadav spoke about losing her young son “just hours after he took the first dose of the vaccine” while Professor Bhaskaran Raman said, “We all need to ask questions about the vaccine trials data of 2024”
The future

An advocate, T Nizam, told his audience to check on the website that PM Modi’s image has been removed from COVID-19 certificates. Several opposition leaders too have cited that PM Modi’s picture has disappeared since safety concerns have been flagged. Yet, several reports did state that the Election Commission had instructed the Union Health Ministry to remove the PM’s image as per  the Model Code of Conduct before elections.

Firoze Mithiborwala of the AIM steering committee said the AIM adherents, those who dared to question the rules and guidelines at that time, needed courage. “We became untouchables as some chose to not wear masks.”

The AIM wants the government to “compensate victims of COVID vaccines, including their families, fast-track and vaccine courts to dispense swift justice and for officials who mislead Indians to be held accountable.

Year India started administering COVID vaccines

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