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Covid-19 vaccine indemnity

Date: 26 June 2021 Tags: Bills & Laws


Vaccine manufacturers like Pfizer and BioNTech are in discussions with the government regarding the indemnity for adverse effects.



The vaccine manufacturers are ready to supply to India but there are still no headway into compensation mechanism for failures.



  • The companies make it clear that government should give them indemnity that prevents others to sue these companies for adverse effects in a particular country.

  • Granting indemnity will not mean that compensation cannot be demanded at all. The criteria are made strict for demanding the compensation.

  • The companies are not ready to give details into their negotiation as confidentiality clause exists while it negotiates between businesses for supplying vaccine.

  • The indemnity clause has been a common factor in Pfizer and Moderna’s business model. Similar conditions were imposed in other countries too.


Indemnity for vaccines

  • Currently, the Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V vaccines are not given indemnity against their side effects by the drug regulator.

  • Currently there are no clear rules on compensation for side effects of vaccines. Petitioners file cases before consumer courts or legal forums for getting compensations.


Global indemnity

  • The US was the first country to provide indemnity to vaccine manufacturers against side effects. The same was approved by the UK. The WHO has similar program for low income countries under the COVAX programme.

  • In US, manufacturers have indemnity until 2024 for all the lawsuits arising out of foreseen medical complications due to the vaccination.

  • The indemnity covers issues such as physical and mental injuries, deaths, monitoring costs, loss of business, loss of property etc.

  • Compensation can be given in cases where the effects directly arise out of vaccination. This include birth injury, congenital issues, hospitalisation, still birth etc.

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