Vaccine compensation regimes are complex and constantly changing. Launching such a regime during a global pandemic creates a situation that is difficult to navigate and fraught with uncertainty. Before distribution began of the products currently on the market, pharmaceutical companies , R&D laboratories and scientific research departments at academic institutions raced to develop vaccines for COVID-19. At one point, the WHO tracked as many as 170 potential candidates and other vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 may appear in the future. As countries around the world vaccinate their populations, individual governments are refining their approach to large-scale vaccinations and evaluating the impact of vaccine rollouts on their societies and economies. Vaccination policies are even more important in light of the fact that individuals may need to receive yearly booster shots to be properly protected against COVID-19 or any future strain of it.
While the European Commission is reportedly considering protection for all member states from lawsuits regarding any problems related to COVID-19 vaccines, there has been no definite information on this as of this writing. According to the EU Product Liability Directive, liability remains with the companies manufacturing the vaccines. However, in order to compensate manufacturers for the risks created by the unusually shorter timespan for vaccine development, the Advanced Purchase Agreements (APAs) for vaccines have allowed member states to indemnify manufacturers for possible liabilities incurred under specific conditions set out in the APAs.
Therefore, while there was and is scope for APA negotiations on an individual basis, it is still vitally important that all those who are or will be involved in the development, distribution, payment and inoculations of COVID-19 vaccines be aware of the individual policies and legislation in countries in the EU and around the world on vaccine compensation.
This Expert Guide details the applicable policies, regulations and laws set down by governments, authorities and regulatory agencies, state and private insurers, and life sciences and healthcare companies. In addition to providing a high level of information on vaccine compensation regimes, this Guide offers a quick and comprehensive presentation of the applicable laws on a complex and incredibly important topic as nations struggle on to vaccinate the people of the world in an effort to end this global pandemic.