India has no law in place to protect citizens from the harmful effects of Covid vaccine

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 03, 2020

The only option for an aggrieved party is to file legal proceedings under general laws

As countries race to develop a vaccine against the virus, Indian medical experts dread that the course will pave a dangerous path to the future development of vaccines, Mid Day reported.

This is due to the fact that companies, including British pharmaceutical AstraZeneca, have sought exemption from indemnity from side effects of the vaccine for four years.

According to Delhi-based Dr Jacob Puliyel, erstwhile Member of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) cited in the Mid Day report, companies are right to ask for such “indemnifying of no action in case of vaccine reaction or doesn't work”.

However, Puliyel believes that the government is responsible to be “fooled” by their business model and sign such indemnification.

He further added: “The trial itself was a matter of concern as the drug produced so much reaction that they changed the study protocol midway to add paracetamol for the recipients.”

Another pharma expert cited in the Mid Day reportsaid: “This is for the first time that the ‘indemnity clause’ is being introduced seeking vaccine liability exemption, which is questionable and also against medical ethics. A practice, if allowed, will have far more ramifications.”

The report indicated that there is no specific law that caters to victims of the side effects of the vaccine.

Compensation for victims

Solicitor Stuti Galiya informed Mid Day that most countries provide compensation to victims in the vent of death and injury caused due to the consumption of the vaccine. However, there is no such specific law in India. Hence, the only option for an aggrieved party is to file legal proceedings under the general laws.

She insisted on having robust legal machinery before the launch of such vaccines in India.

According to a report published in Lancet, in the group of 10 people who were given two doses of the vaccine, the second dose did not increase cellular immunity, which is what is needed for protection against Covid.

Globally, the number of cases has crossed 18 million, with more than 10 million have recovered from the virus.

Published on August 03, 2020

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