Individuals who experience serious side effects from COVID-19 vaccines can file for compensation under a new agreement signed by the World Health Organization and Chubb Ltd.’s ESIS Inc., which provides risk management services.
Under the agreement, individuals in low- and middle- income countries that are part of COVAX’s advance market commitment, or AMC, can receive compensation for “rare but serious adverse events.” The compensation mechanism will start on March 31, 2021, and run until June 30, 2022.
Seth Berkley, CEO at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, said the compensation agreement is “a key benefit for lower-income governments procuring vaccines through the Gavi COVAX AMC.”
The mechanism will be initially financed with COVAX AMC donor funding.
Why it matters: A key question related to COVID-19 vaccines is who will be held liable in case of an adverse event. Pharmaceutical companies providing vaccines via COVAX require indemnification agreements so they will not be held liable for such unexpected adverse events. While COVID-19 vaccines are being recommended for emergency use, they continue to be studied and monitored for safety and efficacy.
What’s the caveat? There remain key questions regarding the process for application and what adverse events will be considered for compensation.