JurisdictionUnited States

Vaccines are a truly global need, as is global preparedness for responding to epidemics. "In 36 hours, an infectious disease can travel from the most remote point on earth to its most dense population center. Once there, infection can take hold rapidly."1

Vaccine manufacture is a global product need, with some of the best facilities for COVID vaccine manufacturing located in Europe and Asia. The need for an effective COVID vaccine is virtually universal, as the infected human lungs could fill with fatal volumes of fluid regardless of geography. Shortages of vaccine and ventilators could be a recipe for national disasters. China and India have both sold or gifted COVID-19 vaccine shots to many countries. India produces more than 60 percent of all vaccines sold in the world. The Serum Institute of India is making the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine for many countries and began in 2021 manufacturing Novavax shots; Bharat Biotech exported its COVAXIN shot to dozens of countries, including Brazil and the Philippines.2 And nations may disagree about the sharing of limited vaccine supplies, just as Italy temporarily blocked export of vaccine to Australia in March 2021.3

The contractual duty of vaccine makers to supply a certain volume of COVID vaccine is being negotiated by governments on a national basis, with occasional press attention to the governmental disagreements over vaccine ingredients and supplies moving from one continent to the others. National governments want to assure they will have supplies for their people, while they recognize that manufacturing sites are privately controlled, and are subject to commercial contracts for supply of finished vaccine packaged in vials with intelligible language instructions. Origin of the vaccine at a certain factory should not be an element of the governmental decision to approve it; the global consensus of effectiveness for the finished product, the world standards for a vaccine that effectively counteracts spread of a virus, should be applied regardless of the site where the processes of vaccine discovery and manufacture had been undertaken. The Russian Sputnik-V vaccine, the British Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and the U.S. Pfizer vaccine are each a product of multiple scientific and manufacturing contributors.

Compensation system remedies will vary according to national healthcare injury compensation norms. The British National Health...

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