Drugmakers are looking for some kind of indemnity from governments or multilateral agencies against possible losses or claims arising from the widespread emergency use of new Ebola vaccines in Africa.
I did a double take when I read the opening paragraph of this Reuter’s article last week.
“…looking for some kind of indeminity…”
Indemnity? For a vaccine? Don’t drugmakers, especially the ones that make vaccine, already have indemnity?
But it stops at the border.
I reread the paragraph and realized ohhhh, these drugmakers, who already have oodles of protection from the United States government, want to use that protection elsewhere—overseas. Kudos for thinking ahead, but I have to ask, if a company has to ask for the kind of protection these drugmakers are asking, should they be making that product, especially if it’s going into humans?
You’d think that protecting the consumer would be better practice. But, it sounds like drugmakers, who are seeking to expand their vaccine wares to other countries, are again only looking out for themselves.
Drugmakers that provide vaccines here in the US have been granted a no responsibility ticket when it comes to their vaccines. It protects not only those who create the vaccines, but protects those who administer them also. Simply put, manufacturers and medical providers can make and give all the vaccines they want. They are never held accountable for any of them, including the vaccines that harm or kill people.
Most other products consumers buy come with some sort of consumer protection. Nothing of the kind exists for vaccines. Here’s what we get, or don’t get, from vaccines:
We aren’t offered exactly what’s advertised.
We don’t get a guarantee that vaccines provide immunity.
We won’t see anyone come running to our rescue when a vaccine fails, or causes injury or causes death.
We can’t take legal action either.
Sure, Americans have access to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which does pay out some monies to some families who’ve been vaccine injured. But that government-run program has done more to aid the government than to assist those in need. And drugmakers are never part of the “justice” process of the NVIC Program. Why? On account of the protection the US government granted them, of course!
Drugmakers can do what they want, when they want. And they are now requesting to be able to do that with an Ebola vaccine in Africa.
I know that Ebola is a deadly disease. I agree that addressing the Ebola situation is important. I know that some areas have seen worse cases than others. But I also know that this disease can be treated and, if caught early enough, treated with success. So far, that success hasn’t included a vaccine.
Here’s some of what we know about the proposed Ebola vaccine, the one drugmakers are requesting indemnity for:
The Ebola vaccine has been called experimental in more than one news reports.
The vaccine contains a live virus and, like every vaccine, has some known side effects.
The Ebola vaccine has been fast tracked.
The Ebola vaccine manufacturers have skipped over protocols that usually require years to complete.
Vaccine trials have begun despite not conducting long-term safety studies.
Without going through the rigorous process of testing the vaccine, waiting for and documenting reports of reactions, one million doses of Ebola vaccines are projected to be ready in 2015.
Drugmakers wish to provide an experimental vaccine with no guarantees and which lack safety data to other people in other countries. Sounds like business as usual, doesn’t it?
American’s have been misled about vaccines for years. We’ve been used as guinea pigs and for pharmaceutical profit at the same time. And now countrymen and woman far, far away are being eyed as potential vaccine consumers. I pray that treating the current Ebola cases, as well as reducing the risk of exposure to others, happens soon. I pray it happens before this mass-produced experimental Ebola vaccine becomes available too.
I’d hate to see people in other countries be subjected to our pharmaceutical companies’ liability-free actions and irresponsibility. Too many here in our community have experienced that already and have seen vaccine damage first hand. No need to add that sort of suffering to another people, especially to a people who are already dealing with loss and devastation.
Cathy Jameson is Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.