A CNBC report this week stated that people who experience any, severe side effects from the COVID vaccine likely cannot take either pharmaceutical manufacturer to court. That’s because the federal government has granted both Pfizer, the first company to receive emergency, distribution authorization, and Moderna, who received clearance to distribute its vaccine this week, immunity from any liability.
Under the 2005 “Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act,’ aka the PREP Act, the companies cannot be held liable if something “unintentionally goes wrong with their vaccines.” According to the CNBC report published on Thursday, Dallas labor and employment attorney Rogge Dunn stated, “It is very rare for a blanket immunity law to be passed. Pharmaceutical companies typically aren’t offered much liability protection under the law.”
That’s exactly what the PREP Act does, however. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration cannot be sued for authorizing emergency use of a vaccine. Again, that’s exactly what the COVID vaccine is…an emergency use. Pfizer and Moderna produced and held clinical trials of their vaccines in approximately eight months time. In comparison, when the mumps vaccine was developed, it took four years in the 1960s before it was licensed for distribution and use.
Similarly, someone receiving the COVID vaccine cannot sue their employer if they demanded their employees get the shot as a condition of their employment. It’s no wonder that many Americans seem hesitant to receive the vaccine. It’s almost like there’s a mistrust of the pharmaceutical companies because the production and clinical trials happened so quickly, despite the FDA saying everything is above board.
A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that approximately 4 in 10 Americans said they would “definitely” or “probably” not get vaccinated. That’s down from 60 percent from an early December poll. Nearly 12,700 people were surveyed from November 18 until the 29h.
As for instituting mandatory vaccination protocols, that’s not likely to occur until the FDA formally approves the COVID vaccine and gives Pfizer, Moderna or BioNTech a license to sell it. That will most likely take several more months of data collection showing the safety and effectiveness of the drug.
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