Senate bill seeks to pay back people hurt by vaccines

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A SENATOR has filed a bill that seeks to compensate people who might get sick from coronavirus vaccine shots.

Senate Bill 2015 by Senator Maria Lourdes Nancy S. Binay will create an indemnification fund to increase public confidence in vaccines and remove the risk of lawsuits against drug makers and suppliers.

“This system will help protect and compensate the most marginalized and vulnerable sectors of society from any unanticipated adverse events resulting from vaccination,” she said in the explanatory note.

The bill will require pharmaceutical companies that will supply vaccines to Filipinos to reserve 1% of their contract price for the fund.

The local Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the emergency use of Pfizer, Inc. and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine, which has a 95% efficacy.

Vaccines made by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd., British drug maker AstraZeneca Plc and Russia’s Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology also have pending applications.

The fund will be managed by a vaccine compensation board led by the Justice secretary.

The Health secretary will serve as the vice chairman, while Budget and Finance chiefs will sit as members. The board will also have three sectoral representatives as members.

Ms. Binay said the bill would provide a more fair, efficient and stable approach to help injured parties.

The compensation board will have exclusive jurisdiction to claims for payment or indemnification of injuries or death related to coronavirus vaccines.

It will also set up an efficient system for reporting and the periodic review of fund use and management. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

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