Some public health experts in Belgium have expressed “shock” that AstraZeneca, the first pharmaceutical firm to clinch a contract with the EU to supply member states with a coronavirus vaccine, will receive an unprecedented exemption from the standard product liability clause:
Pharma giant AstraZeneca concluded a deal with the EU Commission mid-August to supply the bloc with at least 300 million doses of a vaccine set to be released by late 2020.
In its current form, the deal allows the multinational drug maker to pass the hot potato of product liability onto national governments, leaving them exposed to the financial consequences of any potential side-effect claims.
The company said that the upside for governments is that they would be providing their vaccine “at no profit” to EU member states, which will be buying the doses at cost price (€2.9 per dose).
The agreement was announced by the company on 14 August, as late-stage clinical trials on its AZD1222 vaccine were nearing final stages in Brazil and Britain, with mid-stage trials still ongoing in South Africa and others planned in the US, Japan and Russia.
Preliminary reports that the liability clause may be scrapped prompted concerns among Belgian experts, with some admitting to being shocked by the company’s push to get off the hook.
Despite previously stating that Belgium was not in favour of scrapping the liability clause, Federal Health Minister Maggie De Block on Wednesday confirmed that the country would be getting 7.5 million doses of the vaccine.
With two doses required per person, Belgium’s batch will be good to inoculate some 3.75 million Belgians, with citizens belonging to at-risk groups set to be given priority, Het Nieuwsblad reports.
In a statement on 21 August, Belgium’s medicines agency (FAMHP) said that the vaccine still needed to get market approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the bloc’s top drugs regulator, who they said was responsible for carrying out a “deep analysis” of AstraZeneca’s product.
“These vaccines will not be distributed before they are authorised for the European market,” FAMHP said. “This entails a deep analysis by EMA experts and competent national authorities showing [the vaccine] has a favourable safety and efficiency profile.”
After receiving market authorisation, however, the deal will mean that, in the face of any potential claims or complaints from a citizen, it will be up to member states to “guarantee compensation.”
By demanding this unprecedented exemption from liability, AstraZeneca is basically admitting that their COVID-19 vaccine is going to cause a lot of injuries and death.
And since most vaccines take 10 years to develop and test properly, these new COVID-19 vaccines cannot possibly be adequately tested in less than a year of R&D.
They tried this kind of knee-jerk insanity in 1976 when they rushed the Swine Flu vaccine to market, and thousands were killed and injured — mostly the elderly, the prime target for this new corona vaccine.
But vaccines are like ticking time bombs in your body — each person reacts differently, and the time it takes for adverse reactions to show up can range from immediately to many years down the road.
During the safety trials, if the guinea pig volunteers don’t immediately drop dead, the vaccine will be deemed “safe and effective” — the long-term serious effects such as stroke, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, general seizures and paralysis, autism won’t show up in their initial assessments — and they know it.
Under George W. Bush, vaccine manufacturers were given this same blanket liability exemption — and the Federal government accepted the liability — which means the U.S. taxpayers pay out damages caused by these vaccines.
And over the last 20 years, they’ve paid out over 4 billion dollars to victims — and CDC admits that this represents only about 10% of the actual number of potential victims injured by vaccines.
With 300 million doses of these COVID-19 vaccines in the pipeline, rest assured that tens of thousands of people are going to be injured and killed over the coming years — but that will be blamed on the virus, not the vaccine, of course.