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Gov’t wants compensation clause in Bayanihan 3 for COVID-related injuries

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 05:24 PM January 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is pushing to include in the proposed “Bayanihan 3” law an indemnification clause for those who will suffer serious adverse effects from COVID-19 vaccines or other vaccine-related injuries.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday said the government is pushing for legislation for compensation for those who would suffer adverse effects from the vaccines.

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“Hinihiling namin is magkaroon ng legislation for the indemnification. Mas maganda sana na magkaroon ng Bayanihan 3 na isama na rin yung indemnification clause,” he said during a House hearing on the government’s vaccination program against COVID-19.

(We are pushing for legislation for indemnification. It is better if the proposed Bayanihan 3 will include the indemnification clause.)

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He noted that the COVAX facility, a platform that aims to ensure rapid, fair, and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for people in all countries, requires an indemnification law.

Galvez pointed out the Philippines is expecting to get 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility.

During the House hearing, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate pointed out that if there is no coverage or compensation for those who may suffer adverse effects, confidence in COVID-19 vaccines could further decline, especially if the vaccination program is rolled out by February.

“Mahalaga po ‘yun [indemnification] kasi magro-roll out na tayo by February. Kung wala po ‘yung ganung klase ng indemnification aspect, mas lalo po ‘yung confidence level ng ating mamamayan ay hindi ganun tataas,” he said.

(Indemnification is important especially if we are to roll out our vaccination program by February. If there is no indemnification aspect, the people’s confidence in vaccines will not be boosted.)

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier urged senators to craft a bill for the indemnification of Filipinos who might suffer the adverse effects of vaccines supposed to protect them from the virus.

For his part, Food and Drug Administration Eric Domingo said countries like the United States and the United Kingdom have laws that ensure that those who would be vaccinated would get compensation should they suffer from the vaccine’s adverse effects.

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“Isa po siyang policy ng maraming bansa sa buong mundo, baka panahon na rin po sana na pag-isipan din natin. Hindi lang para sa COVID-19 kung ‘di para sa lahat ng mga vaccination programs,” he said.

(It is a policy in many countries globally, maybe it’s time that we discuss it in the country. Not only for COVID-19 vaccination but all other vaccination programs.)

In the House of Representatives, BHW Rep. Angelica Natasha Co has filed a bill urging the government to set up a vaccine compensation program that would help protect and compensate individuals who will suffer from any vaccine-related injuries from vaccination.

House Bill No. 7480, or the proposed Vaccine Indemnification Fund Act of 2020, calls for creating the Government Vaccine Indemnification Fund, which shall be subsidized by pharmaceutical companies that supply the government with vaccines for the public immunization programs.

Congress is eyeing a third installment of the Bayanihan stimulus measure. In the Senate, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has Senate Bill No. 1953, or the proposed Bayanihan to Rebuild As One Act, which seeks to pour P485 billion into post-disaster relief and pandemic recovery, including an additional fund of P110 billion for the vaccination program.

Meanwhile, at the House, Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo filed House Bill No. 8031, which sought P400 billion in funding, while House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda filed House Bill No. 9059, seeking P247 billion.

READ: Congress eyes Bayanihan 3

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TAGS: adverse effects, Bayanihan 3, clause, indemnification, vaccine-related injuries
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