Government readies indemnity fund

Hospitalization, other compensation for adverse vaccine reactions covered

The government will compensate those who will develop adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines, the Department of Health said yesterday.

Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire made the clarification yesterday in a radio interview after the delivery of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses was delayed for a week over the lack of an indemnification law.

“All of the manufacturers want an indemnification agreement. They do not want to be charged of any case because their products are still under development,” Vergeire said.

“It will be the government (who will compensate). If, for example, a person develops a reaction and has to be hospitalized, this will be covered by the government through PhilHealth,” she added.

The Pfizer deliver due Friday was part of the procurement from COVAX, the globally-pooled vaccine procurement and distribution effort co-led by the World Health Organization and the GAVI Alliance.

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. has been calling on Congress to pass an indemnification law, which he said is required by vaccine manufacturers.

Pending the passage of the said law, Galvez said the government has submitted a draft indemnity clause to the WHO and GAVI Alliance.

“Various concerned units of the government are now discussing how to go about this indemnification. But definitely, government will be supporting and assisting all those who will have reactions to these vaccines,” Vergeire said.

She said the compensation will cover not just hospitalization.

“There will be other forms of indemnification, not just for hospitalization. We are just working on this and looking at our source of funds,” the Health official added.

The government targets to inoculate 50 to 70 million individuals within the year, which account for about 60 percent of the  population which is the volume that experts said needed to inoculated to achieve herd immunity.

Some 50,000 Filipinos are expected to be vaccinated this month.

Galvez said the one-week delay in the mass rollout will not substantially impact on the government’s vaccination plan.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration said people with heart conditions can still receive the vaccine.

“Right now, the only ones who are barred from getting the jab are those who have severe allergies to the vaccine contents,” FDA chief Enrique Domingo said.

“If you are too frail or too weak, we can hold the vaccine. But for those with stable diseases, they can still get vaccinated,” he added.

Topics: COVID-19 , vaccines , Department of Health , Rosario Vergeire , Pfizer vaccine
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