The Chief Executive Officer of Serum Institute of India, Adar Poonawalla has asked the government of India to indemnify vaccine-makers against lawsuits.
He stated that the vaccine manufacturers should be protected by the government from "frivolous lawsuits" as the company prepares to roll out vaccines to fight the coronavirus pandemic, reported NDTV.
His statement comes weeks after a volunteer from Chennai alleged that he suffered adverse effects after the Oxford vaccine trails. The Serum Institute of India (SII) defended the legal notice they sent to the volunteer, saying they wanted to "safeguard the reputation of the company which is being unfairly maligned."
"We need to have the government indemnify manufacturers, especially vaccine manufacturers, against all lawsuits. In fact, Covax and other countries have already started talking about that. What's happening is when frivolous claims come up, and you see in the media something blown out of proportion. To dispel that the government needs to step in, with messaging with influencers to spread the right message," Poonawalla said at the Global Technology Summit 2020.
He also said that the vaccine manufacturers need to focus on their work and "frivolous lawsuits" could "distract them all day long". He cautioned that adding such lawsuits can eventually bankrupt vaccine-makers.
Admitting "the possibility of an adverse event" post-immunisation, the government on Tuesday in a press briefing said that the protocols have been set up to manage adverse reactions- minor, severe or serious to the coronavirus vaccine.
"Adverse events post-immunisation is a critical aspect. Even during universal immunisation, which has been going on for decades, some adverse effects are seen in children and pregnant women. So we can't deny the possibility of an adverse event," said Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan during the press meet.