Risk & Liability: Who is Accountable for Adverse Effects of The COVID Vaccine?
Get Vaccinated to Offset Risk?
Since the release of COVID-19 vaccines, we’ve seen a rush to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. As with almost any medical treatment, the side effects can vary in degree, depending on the person—and as we now see—on the vaccine manufacturer.
After receiving the vaccine, individuals may experience anything from minor fatigue and pain to swelling, and now, potentially fatal blood clots are on the list, as a few patients have experienced from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Real Risks of Vaccination
In a joint statement from The Centers for Disease Control and the Federal Drug Administration, there have been six reported U.S. cases of severe and “rare” blood clots due to the J&J vaccine, which has since been pulled from clinics nationwide and paused in production. Of the six U.S. women who developed the severe blood clots stemming from initial side effects of fever, aches, and chills, one has died while the other five require hospitalization.
Deemed “rare” by the CDC, these real risks of vaccinations have stirred up even more discussions around who should be held accountable for doses that don’t work out as planned.
What is The PREP Act?
Due to the PREP Act Program, vaccine manufacturers have zero liability regarding side effects, injuries, or even deaths resulting from a COVID-19 vaccine. This is because the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act grants these companies blanket immunity due to the situation’s emergency medical nature. So, if you experience adverse side effects after getting a COVID vaccine, you can’t legally blame or sue companies like Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J.
Is the FDA Liable?
As a branch of government, The FDA is in charge of approving the vaccines to go to market and to be distributed to the public in mass, so it may seem that they should be held liable for any side effects. However, the answer is no. The FDA falls under sovereign immunity, meaning that they can not be sued for doing their job of approving or disapproving a drug.
What is Being Done Now?
Amendments have been requested and made to the PREP Act since the start of COVID spreading. For now, individuals adversely affected after a failed vaccination will need to file a claim with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
What Can Brokers & Employers Do?
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