Pharmaceutical companies around the world are racing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine that we hope will allow us to resume normal activities, and some are already conducting clinical trials in late stages on tens of thousands of healthy people.
But hopes for a year-end miracle took a big hit this week as the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced that it was temporarily suspending its clinical trial due toOne event of unexplained disease“In one of the participants in the experiment. This result is shown exactly Why clinical trials are so important When it comes to developing vaccines rather than just accelerating their introduction to the market.
Interest in participating in COVID-19 vaccine trials is highMost likely due to the desire to return to a normal life faster. But before you even mention your name, it is important to think about what could happen if you had a bad reaction.
Liability protection for pharmaceutical companies is strong
Since 1986, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has provided comprehensive liability protection for vaccine manufacturers when someone suffers an injury from a vaccine. Congress too Create a compensation fund For casualty victims who were unable to sue the pharmaceutical companies.
But this law mainly applies to vaccines that are usually given to children, such as measles, polio, tetanus, and so on.
However, makers of the COVID-19 vaccine can rely on the protections provided by the General Preparedness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act to protect them from lawsuits. On February 4, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, declared COVID-19 a public health emergency and invoked the PREP Act for Protect drug manufacturers from liability for injuries to people caused by treatments and vaccines.
Winning a lawsuit will be tough
Under the PREP Act, the only exception to the liability protections that vaccine manufacturers have is whether they behave in “intentional misconduct.” This means that the victim must prove that the vaccine maker acted “intentionally to achieve an illegal purpose” or “in disregard of a known or apparent risk,” according to the above-mentioned Congressional Research Service report,
Lawsuits for willful misconduct are also “subject to procedural rulings in the interest of the accused in general.” In short, if you do get infected in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine, you likely don’t have the option to file a lawsuit.
However, if you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed during the COVID-19 trial, the federal government has it. Injury compensation program, Designed to provide compensation for:
- Medical expenses related to your injuries
- Lost income
- Survivors of the dead in clinical trials
While this may provide some peace of mind about whether you would like to volunteer to test the COVID-19 vaccine, The United States doesn’t provide much protection for other clinical trials. With more companies trying to lead the way in treating serious illnesses, it is important to remember your options if something goes wrong.