- WHO-led vaccine insurance scheme promises to cover claims of patients in case the vaccine causes any side-effect.
- COVAX is planning to distribute 2 billion potential vaccine shots by the end of 2021
- WHO has said that a fully tested Covid vaccine would be out soon enough.
THD NewsDesk, Brussels: Aiming to achieve global cooperation to tackle the pandemic, the World Health Organization is preparing to establish a compensation fund specifically for economically weaker nations. The fund aims to aid countries who might suffer any side-effects from COVID-19 vaccines. Striving to prevent delays in delivering vaccines in low-income countries, the scheme plans to ensure an unhindered global rollout of shots.
Led by WHO and GAVI, a global vaccine alliance, the COVAX vaccine facility is working to distribute 2 billion effective shots across the world by the end of 2021. According to COVAX documents published on October 29, the initiative offers to foot the bill for 92 low-income countries across the African and Asian continent.
However, no proper justification has been provided for excluding middle-income countries such as South Africa, Lebanon, Gabon, Iran, and most Latin American countries from the scheme.
“The COVAX Facility is developing a system to provide compensation to those individuals in any of the 92 economies … that suffer unexpected SAEs (serious adverse events) associated with such vaccines or their administration,” COVAX said.
The vaccine insurance scheme promises to cover the cost of any claims brought by patients in these countries lest the COVAX-distributed vaccine proves to be ineffective after it is administered.
Before the fund’s conception, the drug firms did not prefer countries that could not provide a liability shield for marketing their vaccines. Owing to the new scheme, countries purchasing COVAX vaccines would receive reimbursements from COVAX if the victims suffer from side effects. Instead of insurers, COVAX would provide compensation to patients based on the severity of the harm from side-effects from injecting the COVID vaccines.
The decision to institute the fund came after many governments raised concern over COVID-19 shots given the record speed at which they are being developed. Moreover, neither of the potential Covid vaccines has been approved by the WHO, increasing the risk of failure. Earlier, WHO had announced that a fool-proof Covid vaccine would be out by December next year.