If you react badly to the vaccine, will the manufacturer be held ...

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If you react badly to the vaccine, will the manufacturer be held liable?

The government is tight-lipped about liability discussions with drug companies, saying NDAs are in place

Bobby Jordan and Zimasa Matiwane

Who is liable for serious vaccine side effects? That’s an unanswered question hovering over negotiations between government and vaccine manufacturers involved in SA’s rollout plan.

Despite mounting public pressure for information about vaccine procurement, details of bilateral negotiations about supply remain a closely guarded secret, subject to non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). The issue of liability is among discussion points.

In an exclusive interview with Sunday Times Daily last week, health minister Zweli Mkhize named liability as one of several issues that had been addressed: “Because of the way the whole process of vaccines has evolved, there are a number of issues which they (manufacturers) want government to look at. Some of them have to be managed and addressed, but at the end there are certain issues of liability that are non-negotiable — it’s either you accept the conditions or you don’t get a vaccine, but we can’t go into specifics (because of NDAs.)”..

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