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Astra Zeneca to Be Exempt from Coronavirus Vaccine Liability in Most Countries-Informed Consent?

 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca has been granted protection from future product liability claims related to its COVID-19 vaccine hopeful by most of the countries with which it has struck supply agreements, a senior executive told Reuters. 

“This is a unique situation where we as a company simply cannot take the risk if in ... four years the vaccine is showing side effects,” Ruud Dobber, a member of Astra’s senior executive team, told Reuters.

A virus circulating is not "unique". It's commonplace.

“In the contracts we have in place, we are asking for indemnification. For most countries it is acceptable to take that risk on their shoulders because it is in their national interest,” he said, adding that Astra and regulators were making safety and tolerability a top priority.

Is it an acceptable risk personally? Thinking about the idea of informed consent.

"Informed consent is the process in which a health care provider educates a patient about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of a given procedure or intervention.  Informed consent is both an ethical and legal obligation of medical practitioners in the US and originates from the patient's right to direct what happens to their body"

Dobber would not name the countries.

EU officials told Reuters this week product liability was among contentious points in European efforts to secure supply deals for potential COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson.

The United States, however, already has a law to exclude tort claims from products that help control a public-health crises in the form of the 2005 Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness, or PREP Act.

Anything can be declared a "public health crisis". But, is it really?

Source: 
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