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Asymptomatic Covid cases made headlines, vaccination deaths ignored: Victims' kin

By Rosamma Thomas* 
On March 19, 2024, members of five families from different states in southern India got together at the Kochi Press Club to appraise the press about the loss of loved ones after Covid vaccination. Venugopalan Govindan and his wife Sujini were there from Coimbatore, to explain that they lost their young daughter Karunya after a spell of inflammation following Covid vaccination in 2021. 
Govindan has since taken the matter to court, but explained that although he went with great hope to the Supreme Court when the matter came up for hearing on March 1 this year, he was saddened to note that the judge put off the hearing and remarked only about the claim for compensation; in the 200-page submission, the judge’s eyes fell on the compensation claim, even though it was only introduced to be able to get the matter admitted in court.   
“We are not fighting the case only for compensation; we have lost our child,” he said, adding that the matter in court is meant to prevent other families from losing loved ones. Any compensation received would be dedicated to social causes. 
Govindan said it was important to get the word out, so no more families go through the sorrow that his own has endured. The government appears to have washed its hands of responsibility, asserting in court that vaccination against Covid was voluntary, and that the government could not be held to account for adverse events. This narrative, however, has been questioned by academics who studied the data to show that the majority of those receiving the vaccine were coerced into it.
Govindan questioned the need for vaccination at all, given the data that has since emerged about how African countries with low Covid vaccination also saw few cases. Government sources of information need to be verified, he said, explaining that the Indian Council of Medical Research released a report absolving the Covid vaccine of causing sudden deaths. However, IIT professor Bhaskaran Raman, who has studied Covid vaccine data closely, shows how the ICMR study is deeply flawed. What truth can one expect from ICMR, itself a manufacturer of one of the vaccines, Govindan asked.
Ranjith K, from Kottayam, arrived at the press conference to talk about his wife, Mahima Mathew, who was pregnant with twins when she took the vaccine. She died two weeks after the first dose.
The mother of Nova Sabu, the 19-year-old from Pathanamthitta district in Kerala who died days after taking the vaccine, was choked with tears as she explained that it was vital for others to take lessons from their experience – the government has completely washed its hands of the matter, and the family grieves alone, she said. “We feel the loss of our daughter each day, and the grief is what urges us to come together and warn others. No one from the government has ever reached out to us.” In March 2021, the Immunization Technical Support Unit of the Union health ministry made a presentation that noted that 180 people had died till then in India after taking the vaccine.
Venugopalan Govindan said he cried when he learnt of the death of the young Devi Anilkumar on July 10, 2022 – just a day after she was given the vaccine. “It was the first anniversary of my own daughter’s death, and I told myself that I should have done more, I should have made a big noise, and prevented the death of this child.” He said he wondered what more he could have done – should he have immolated himself?
On display at media meet: The children who died after vaccination
In the release distributed to the press, the group noted that while even asymptomatic Covid cases were making the headlines, deaths after vaccination were falling into a black hole. “We want this world to know that we were deceived by the government’s promise of a ‘safe and effective’ vaccine. Some of the victims could have been saved if the doctors and hospitals had knowledge of adverse effects from Covid vaccines and knew the correct diagnosis and treatment protocols. But even today the medical establishments are in denial of the adverse events from Covid vaccines, and information on the adverse events and their treatment must be widely disseminated,” the note said.
It added, “The institutions meant to protect the public have let us down and we discovered that we have to protect our own interests….Whenever any public health measures are announced, please make your decision after full understanding of the pros and cons, whether it is needed at all and what are the possible adverse events…”
This group of kin of those dead from the vaccine came together after getting in touch with each other on reading reports of the deaths of loved ones, and making efforts to track down families. None of the kin had any previous experience of holding a press conference, and after exhausting every other means of spreading the word, and seeing that scare mongering was continuing, they decided to meet the press.
Distrust in the medical establishment and government is heightened by recent reports of the enormous sums of money donated through the electoral bonds scheme to political parties by big pharmaceutical firms. The scheme was struck down by the Supreme Court on February 15, 2024.
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*Freelance reporter who travelled 70 km from Pala, Kottayam district, to Kochi for the press conference. The Kochi Press Club, however, does not allow freelancers to attend press conferences, hence she was kicked out. Report prepared on the basis of the press note distributed by the organizers and a video of the conference uploaded by Awaken India Movement

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