(bigleaguepolitics)The US government has granted Pfizer and Moderna immunity from liability in case people develop severe side effects from their COVID-19 vaccines.
The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act allows the Department of Health and Human Services to provide liability immunity for “certain medical countermeasures,” such as vaccines, except in cases of “willful misconduct.”
According to CNBC, someone who develops severe side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine can neither sue the FDA for authorizing the vaccine, nor one’s employer for mandating it.
And although it is theoretically possible to receive money from the government to cover lost wages and out-of-pocket medical expenses following “irreparable harm” from a vaccine, only 29 claims—6 percent of all claims—have received compensation over the past decade.
In short, don’t count on compensation for a COVID-19 vaccine gone wrong. And don’t count on seeing any of those “you may be entitled to financial compensation” commercials for it either.
Big League Politics has previously covered the proposed legislation in New York that could effectively make a COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for its citizens:
Proposed legislation in New York could make a COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for the vast majority of its population.
Linda Rosenthal, a state assembly member and Democrat who represents some of Manhattan’s West Side, introduced a bill that would mandate vaccination “for all individuals or groups of individuals who, as shown by clinical data, are proven to be safe to receive such a vaccine” if public health officials determine that New Yorkers “are not developing sufficient herd immunity from COVID-19.”
“At the time a vaccination for COVID-19 is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research vaccine product approval process and the New York state clinical advisory task force, such vaccination shall be required to be safely and effectively distributed in accordance with the department’s COVID-19 vaccination administration program,” Assembly Bill A11179 read.
As of this writing, the bill is being reviewed by a committee. It is also unclear what constitutes “sufficient herd immunity” for the vaccine to not become mandatory.
A significant chunk of the American populace still claims that they’re not willing to take the vaccine, so it will be intriguing to see how this situation develops and if the vaccine becomes either mandatory de jure or de facto.