To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason his Department has taken over responsibility from covid-19 vaccine manufacturers for negligence claims arising from their vaccines causing serious illness or death; and when he plans to return producer liability to those manufacturers.
Given the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the terms on which developers have been willing to supply vaccines, the United Kingdom and other national Governments around the world, took a broad approach to indemnification proportionate to the situation. The European Union’s and the UK’s law recognises it is unfair to ask manufacturers and healthcare professionals to take the usual level of responsibility for consequences if they supply a product in adherence with the Government’s conditions in the event of a global pandemic.
The Department is providing indemnities in the unexpected event of any adverse reactions that could not have been foreseen through the robust checks and procedures put in place. Appropriate indemnities for vaccine suppliers secured access to vaccines at the earliest opportunity. The Department will continue to keep this under review. We are unable to provide the information requested regarding contracts between the Government and vaccine manufacturers as this is commercially sensitive.