COVID-19 vaccine: UK govt grants Pfizer indemnity against being sued as impact on fertility remains unknown
The United Kingdom government has granted legal indemnity protecting global pharmaceutical firm, Pfizer from being sued over the use of its COVID-19 vaccine.
The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed that the indemnity protects the company from legal action as a result of any problems with the vaccine, Independent UK reported Friday.
This means that neither a patient nor their relatives can sue Pfizer should the patient suffer any adverse effect from taking the vaccine.
This came as data regarding the vaccine’s impact on pregnant women, their babies and fertility remain unavailable.
Authorisation for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was granted by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency earlier in the week under regulation 174 of the Human Medicine Regulations 2012 which allows an unlicensed medication to be used in an emergency such as a pandemic.
The regulations were altered in September to protect firms like Pfizer in order to hasten the deployment of the vaccines as COVID-19 continues to ravage the European nation.
The UK thus became the first Western nation to authorise a COVID0-19 vaccine, CNN reported.
While persons from 16 and above are allowed to use the vaccine, pregnant women are barred because of lack of data on how the vaccine could affect them or their babies.
The legal indemnity covers the NHS staff providing the vaccine, as well as manufacturers of the drug.
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The Independent UK further reported that Pfizer’s UK managing director, Ben Osborn, refused to disclose why the company needed an indemnity.