Jeez, what is the damn complaint here?

Pfizer has been accused of holding Brazil “to ransom” over demands to shield itself from possible vaccine side-effect lawsuits in its contract to supply the country with 100m Covid jabs.

In its $1bn (£700m) deal with Pfizer Export BV, signed in March, despite its prior complaints, the Brazilian government agreed that “a liability waiver be signed for any possible side-effects of the vaccine, exempting Pfizer from any civil liability for serious side-effects arising from the use of the vaccine, indefinitely”.

Indemnity from compensation claims has been common in contracts between many countries and big pharma companies since the late 1980s.

It’s been standard in vaccine contracts because we know that vaccines will kill some people. Doing anything to the entire population simply will kill some people. Ask the entire population to walk up the stairs and some will die.

We also have state, government, compensation schemes. Because we know vaccines will kill some people. But the public good is such that we’ll all chip in to pay the compo to those who do.

This is nowt to do with ‘rona, it’s just the basics of the whole damn field.

Echoing AstraZeneca’s acrimonious row with the EU, the Brazilian government had previously complained about Pfizer’s stipulation “that if there is a delay in delivery, there is no penalty”. But it agreed in the contract that while Pfizer would “use commercially reasonable efforts to meet the delivery schedule” it would ultimately, “under no circumstances be subject to or liable for any late delivery penalties”.

“All efforts” and “all reasonable efforts”, entirely standard commercial contract language. What in buggery is it that these people are whining about?

All efforts means we sell the CEOs teenage daughter if that’s what it takes to get the vaccines delivered on time. Reasonable means we limit ourselves to what we’d expect a reasonable business to do in order to meet timescales. Like deprive the teenage daughter’s father of his job perhaps, but nor her of her freedom.

Come on people this is just longstanding and well understood commercial law.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported in February that Pfizer had demanded Brazil and Argentina put up sovereign assets as collateral to guarantee indemnity, as well as create a guarantee fund with money deposited in a foreign bank account.

We should probably read that as “you do actually have a real vaccine compensation fund, don’t you?”

Ah, this explains it:

Alena Ivanova, campaigns officer at Global Justice Now, said: “Pfizer is all too happy to cash in on publicly funded coronavirus vaccines, but doesn’t want to take on any of the risk. It’s an all too familiar move from pharmaceutical companies that seem more interested in protecting their profits than protecting the public.

“We can’t keep putting our faith in private companies to provide lifesaving medicines, only to see them hold countries to ransom.”

These cunts are at the root of it. Any stupid argument is acceptable as long as it leads to the overthrow of capitalism.

18 thoughts on “Jeez, what is the damn complaint here?”

  1. “ It’s been standard in vaccine contracts because we know that vaccines will kill some people. Doing anything to the entire population simply will kill some people. Ask the entire population to walk up the stairs and some will die.

    We also have state, government, compensation schemes. Because we know vaccines will kill some people. But the public good is such that we’ll all chip in to pay the compo to those who do.

    This is nowt to do with ‘rona, it’s just the basics of the whole damn field.”

    Why? Just price the product correctly and the supplier can fund the compensation payments. Why is there a role for government?

    Interestingly, this is the first time I have read that this is standard practice for all vaccines, which rather indicates just how crap the government’s comms have been with respect to the vaccine programme.

  2. Mr Boycott

    The problem with vaccines and their ilk is that they may kill you or cripple you.
    If every time that happens, you need to go to court to lodge a complaint against the doctor, the pharmacist, FedEx, the company, the folk who invented it, Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all it gets very expensive and very drawn out. Multiply by vaccines, manufacturers, folk who see a payout and reckon they could fake the symptoms etc etc etc and it all gets very messy.

    It is much simpler for there to be a means by which you can demand recompense from the government. It could be any single group rather than the government, but governments rather want to control the payouts. No court proceedings (unless the compensation scheme unfairly rejects you), no unbounded damages…

  3. Are governments compensating the relatives of dead people? I assumed they were writing it off to misadventure.

  4. Interesting point David Boycott but the suppliers are dealing with an unknown here, how many people will be affected and what the compensation will be. People want it faster than pharma can establish those baselines. So you can’t blame them for wanting indemnity. If Pfizer refused to release the vaccine on the grounds of more study required to quantify those issues they’d be getting criticized over that instead.

  5. Thing is, these ‘vaccines’ are killing lots of people compared to proper vaccines (you know, the ones that stop you getting the disease in question).

    Numbers from the FDA show 5,000 fatalities between 1990 to August 2021 from all vaccines administered in the US. They also show 6,000 in the nine months December 2020 to August 2021 for covid jabs.

    Also, how many deaths have been caused by the drugs they have given to deal with covid(Remdesivir particularly)?

  6. David Boycott said:
    “Just price the product correctly and the supplier can fund the compensation payments”

    Partly what Ltw said: the producers would want more time for testing to be able to price in that risk; if governments want it quickly, they have to take on that risk.

    Partly also the experience of asbestos etc., that even if they price in the risk of liability based on current law, that law (or the way the courts apply it) can change, leaving you with massive unexpected claims. Yes, you could price in that risk too, but it’s so uncertain that it would be very expensive. Far better to leave the liability in the hands of the people who control the laws.

  7. “We can’t keep putting our faith in private companies to provide lifesaving medicines”

    Ok, get the government to do it. Go on. 100 billion zarbles to research and find 1 billion’s worth of useful product. Because that’s how searching for and developing human knowledge works. YOU tell the taxpayers YOU are insisting they chuck 99 billion of THEIR money down the drain.

  8. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    These look like, by quite some distance, the most dangerous vaccines ever marketed. There is a chart going around showing that vastly more suspected related deaths have been recorded in Germany than were for all vaccines administered since 2000. Traditionally adverse reactions post marketing are believed to be very much under reported, but even if we have some attention bias here (rarely if ever has the world had such monomaniacal focus on a single disease), it does not look good.

    Add to this the now clear reduction in efficacy with time since second dose, and the benefit/risk calculation is fundamentally changed.

    If Biden can force employers to fire you for not taking your shots, he can do it for your boosters as well. With who knows what potential magnification of adverse effect risk with each successive shot. I hope you Americans have a constitutional court that takes its duties more seriously than ours.

  9. BiNK.
    If people accept it for covid it will then be mandatory flu jabs. And why not? No more ‘my body, my choice’.

    And then abortions………..

  10. Alena joined Global Justice Now in May 2021 as campaigns officer with the policy team. Previously she worked on campaigns with Another Europe is Possible, where she still helps out part-time. Alena spends her free time with more campaigning and volunteering around migrants rights – she’s a certified immigration advisor and supports vulnerable EEA nationals to retain their rights in the UK. She enjoys baking and dreams of a socially just world where all landlords will allow dogs.

    Just another enemy of the people.

  11. “ If people accept it for covid it will then be mandatory flu jabs.”

    a few years ago the nursing union here won a case in the Supreme Court that mandatory flu vaccines for nurses were a breach of their right under the human rights charter. A few days ago the advice issued by the union to all nurses is that if mandatory Covid vaccination if brought in nurses will have to comply and that any nurse publicly talking about vaccine risk could be sacked and would have no union support.
    At the same time there were reports of staff shortages being so bad people were keeling over in A&E waiting rooms due to the wait times and some small regional hospitals were closing at night due to lack of staff

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Numbers from the FDA show 5,000 fatalities between 1990 to August 2021 from all vaccines administered in the US. They also show 6,000 in the nine months December 2020 to August 2021 for covid jabs.

    Also, how many deaths have been caused by the drugs they have given to deal with covid(Remdesivir particularly)?”

    Has that been adjusted to allow for most vaccines being given to young healthy people and Covid vaccines deliberately being given to the most vulnerable in society first?

    For the record I wouldn’t allow my children to be vaccinated and if I were under 30 I probably wouldn’t. 30 to 50 maybe, over 50 I think the risk is greatest in not being vaccinated.

    YMMY

  13. Aside from difficulty of accurately understanding potential seriously-bad-case risk the firms involved would need to insure against, you probably also don’t it to be pot luck whether people can get compensation in the bad-case scenario, depending on whether the vaccine supplier was underinsured and therefore went bust or not. Gives people more peace of mind to know that a government compensation scheme is in place, particularly one that doesn’t make establishing liability too arduous.

    Perhaps a useful read: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0233334

    To update the landscape analysis of vaccine injuries no-fault compensation programmes, we conducted a scoping review and a survey of World Health Organization Member States. We describe the characteristics of existing no-fault compensation systems during 2018 based on six common programme elements. No-fault compensation systems for vaccine injuries have been developed in a few high-income countries for more than 50 years. Twenty-five jurisdictions were identified with no-fault compensation programmes, of which two were recently implemented in a low- and a lower-middle-income country. The no-fault compensation programmes in most jurisdictions are implemented at the central or federal government level and are government funded. Eligibility criteria for vaccine injury compensation vary considerably across the evaluated programmes. Notably, most programmes cover injuries arising from vaccines that are registered in the country and are recommended by authorities for routine use in children, pregnant women, adults (e.g. influenza vaccines) and for special indications. A claim process is initiated once the injured party or their legal representative files for compensation with a special administrative body in most programmes. All no-fault compensation programmes reviewed require standard of proof showing a causal association between vaccination and injury. Once a final decision has been reached, claimants are compensated with either: lump-sums; amounts calculated based on medical care costs and expenses, loss of earnings or earning capacity; or monetary compensation calculated based on pain and suffering, emotional distress, permanent impairment or loss of function; or combination of those. In most jurisdictions, vaccine injury claimants have the right to seek damages either through civil litigation or from a compensation scheme but not both simultaneously. Data from this report provide an empirical basis on which global guidance for implementing such schemes could be developed.

    No-fault vaccine injury compensation programmes are established to compensate individuals who experience a rare vaccine-related injury due to the inherent risk of vaccination (e.g. intussusception in an infant following vaccination with a well manufactured and administered rotavirus vaccine, or a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction following any vaccine) [1–3]. These programmes do not require the injured party or their legal representative to prove negligence or fault by the vaccine provider, health care system or the manufacturer prior to compensation. They serve to waive the need for accessing compensation through litigation processes, which are often viewed as an adversarial approach requiring establishment of fault by at least one party prior to compensation [2]. The term ¨no-fault¨ implies a measure put in place by public health authorities, private insurance companies, manufacturers and other stakeholders to compensate individuals inadvertently harmed by vaccines [4]. In 1961, Germany was the first country to implement a no-fault compensation programme that covered vaccine injuries [2]. This stemmed from the 1953 supreme court ruling to compensate people injured with compulsory smallpox vaccination [2]. The drive to implement no-fault compensation programmes in most jurisdictions increased with reports of adverse events following immunisation with diphtheria-tetanus-whole cell pertussis in the 1970s [2].

    However, with continued improvements in reporting and investigation of vaccine safety events, including in low- and middle-income settings, WHO Member States are identifying and documenting events that have scientific evidence of causal association to vaccination [5]. This is accompanied by increasing interest for national no-fault compensation policies related to vaccine injuries [6–9]. As of 2010, compensation schemes for vaccine-related injuries had been identified and characterized in nineteen out of WHO’s 194 Member States [2]. At the time, these programmes were exclusively implemented in high-income countries. Previous reviews have described the characteristics of existing programmes based on the six common elements identified by Evans in 1999 including administration and funding, eligibility, process and decision making, a standard of proof, elements of compensation, and litigation rights [1, 2]. We conducted a global survey of the status of vaccine injury no-fault compensation programmes (complemented by triangulation of information from multiples sources) with the aim to update the inventory of such programmes and evaluate and update their characteristics to forecast the next segment of adopters and guide policy formulation.

    Timelines vary considerably from programme to programme. In the United Kingdom, claims can only be filed when the child is two years old. For adults, whichever is the latest of the following dates: either on or before their 21st birthday (or if they have died, the date they would have reached 21 years old), or within 6 years of vaccination. In the USA, the Province of Quebec, Denmark, Italy and Norway, the programmes compensate for injuries that occur within three years of vaccination or initial appearance of symptoms of the vaccine injuries. In case of death, the USA programme compensates if it occurs within two years of vaccination and not more than four years from the initial date of symptoms of the vaccine injury that led to death. In Denmark and Norway, the maximum interval between the occurrence of vaccine injury and filing a claim is 10 and 20 years respectively. In Switzerland, claims can be submitted up to when one is 21 years old for childhood vaccines or within five years of vaccination. Similarly, the programmes in Japan (for non-NIP vaccines) and the Republic of Korea have a five years window for filing claims. Finland and France have a 10 years window for filing a claim, in China, this varies by province. The programmes in Austria, German, Hungary, Japan (NIP vaccines), Luxembourg, Slovenia, Sweden, and New Zealand do not have specified timelines between the occurrence of a vaccine injury and filing a claim.

    Injured party.
    Fifteen programmes (65%) compensate all individuals who experience an eligible injury arising from a vaccine administered within their jurisdiction. In Denmark, Slovenia and China, only citizens are eligible for compensation. Whilst in the Province of Quebec in Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan (programme for NIP listed vaccines), only province residents who experience a vaccine injury are eligible for compensation.

    Types of injuries covered.
    All countries implementing no-fault compensation programmes have a threshold of eligibility for vaccine injury and these include: injuries resulting in financial loss or permanent or significant injury (i.e. medical disability), serious health damage or death, severe injuries exceeding normal post-vaccination reactions, severe disability secondary to vaccination against a specified disease in the legislation, serious adverse events following immunization (AEFI) or disability as per predefined criteria. In the Republic of Korea, compensation may be considered for any vaccine injury whose treatment cost beyond USD 260 (300,000 Korean Won). Although the schemes studied are primarily designed to compensate for inherent risks of vaccination (“no-fault”) Injuries arising from negligence (i.e. vaccine quality defects or immunization errors) are also covered under the schemes of twelve of the 23 programmes (52%) studied. In the remaining jurisdictions, injuries arising from negligence are handled separately either under a medical malpractice indemnity cover or through civil litigation.

    Process and decision making
    Process.
    In all the compensation programmes, the process is initiated by the injured party or their legal representative filing a claim with a special administrative unit handling vaccine injury compensation. In New Zealand, this process is initiated by the healthcare worker reviewing the injury, who then notifies the ACC. Eighteen of the programmes (78%) are purely administrative in nature with a unit consisting of health officials or an insurance organization that processes claims operating under a pre-set legislation. Five of the programmes (22%) in Austria, Finland, Hungary, and the USA have an approach that either combines both administrative and civil litigation processes or are considered a judicial review in Denmark. The national vaccine injury compensation programme in the USA involves a special court that deliberates on claims and makes the final decision on compensation for injuries pre-listed, or upon examination of an expert witness for non-listed injuries, an approach like civil litigation.

    Decision making.
    In the purely administrative programmes, a group of medical experts reviews individual cases of vaccine injuries filed for compensation and make the decision based on available evidence. Once a decision to compensate or refuse compensation is made, the recommendations of the expert group are forwarded to the programme for action. In jurisdictions with both administrative and legal approaches, the final decision on compensation is made by legal experts (e.g. Austria, Denmark, Hungary, USA). In Finland and Sweden, compensation decisions are based on civil (tort) liability laws. Decisions making process varies amongst programmes ranging between 10 days to five years depending on the nature and complexity of the claim.

    Standard of proof
    All programmes reviewed require standard of proof showing a causal link between vaccination and injury. As described by Looker et al, most compensation programmes adopt the “balance of probabilities” approach which assumes that it is “more likely than not” that the vaccine caused the injury considering its nature, the consistency of time interval from vaccination, the existing medical evidence establishing an association between the injury and the vaccine including other supporting information available [2, 23]. In sixteen of the programmes (69%), the standard of proof is based on a causal association to vaccination based on standard causality assessment. In the rest of the programmes, the standard of proof is as determined by a selected group of experts. The USA compensates injuries that are listed on the vaccine injury table occurring within pre-defined timelines [24]. Claimants with injuries not listed on the vaccine injury table are required to prove that vaccine caused the injury by presenting necessary medical records or opinions which may include testimonies from expert witnesses. In China, the standard of proof is based on epidemiological causation and the regulation excludes from compensation injuries that are deemed coincidental to vaccination [4]. In Switzerland, the causality assessment of vaccine injuries is subjected to methodological approval by a group of experts. This group of experts is equivalent to a national immunization technical advisory group (NITAG), a group of experts that provides scientific recommendations for evidence-based immunization policy and programme decisions [22, 25]. In the Canadian Province of Quebec, the standard of proof is based on the existence or lack thereof of a probable causal link between the injury and the vaccine as determined by three independent medical experts appointed by the province, injured party and a third nominated by the initial two medical experts.

    Elements of compensation
    In all programmes, once a final decision has been reached, claimants are compensated with either (or a combination of): a lump-sum of money; monetary compensation calculated based on medical care costs and expenses, loss of earnings or earning capacity; or monetary compensation calculated based on non-monetary criteria e.g. pain and suffering, emotional distress, permanent impairment or loss of function. Other benefits include disability pension, survival pension, or death benefits. In the province of Quebec, the amount of compensation is determined based on rules and regulations as prescribed in the Automobile Insurance Act and is identical to the compensation offered to victims of automobile accidents. In Viet Nam, compensation for disability arising from a vaccine injury is equivalent to 30 months base salary or calculated based on lost or reduced income with a standardized formula [15]. The programme in Switzerland offers compensation equivalent up to USD 70,000 aimed at covering costs related to vaccine injuries that are not covered by other third-party benefits [25].

    In twelve of the programmes (52%), the amount of compensation is calculated on a case by case basis and the final amount paid out depends on the extent of the injury. In ten of the programmes (44%), the compensation amount is standardized. Compensation amounts also vary across existing compensation programmes, and across provinces in countries implementing decentralized compensation programs e.g. China [5].

    Litigation rights
    In fifteen (65%) jurisdictions, claimants are required to file a vaccine injury claim with the compensation programme, but still maintain the right to pursue civil litigation against the vaccine manufacturer or health care professionals if they can prove there was a fault (i.e. vaccine quality defect). In Canadian Province of Quebec, Denmark, Hungary, New Zealand, Slovenia and Sweden, vaccine injury claims can only be filed with the compensation programme (26%).

    In the USA, claimants forego their right to file for a civil claim once they have accepted compensation from the national Vaccine Injury Compensation Programme (VICP) [2]. The characteristics of the existing programmes are summarised in Table 2 below.

    Benefits of vaccine injury compensation programmes
    The benefits most referred to in existing no-fault compensation programmes were: fair compensation for individuals inadvertently injured by a vaccine meant for public good and increasing confidence in public vaccination programmes. Most respondents did not consider sustenance of vaccine supply, protecting manufacturers from liability and stabilization of vaccine prices as benefits of their programmes (Fig 3). Compensation programmes were seen by respondents to enhance the legal basis of mandatory vaccination systems (in member states where such laws existed) and a sign of the government`s commitment towards immunization programmes.

    Challenges of vaccine injury compensation programmes
    The most notable operational challenge of the existing programmes noted by respondents was lack of public awareness of programme existence, strict requirements for standard of proof that vaccine caused injury, and long timelines for filing claims and receiving compensation (Fig 4). Despite the lack of awareness ranking as a high challenge for most programmes, few participants indicated programme accessibility as an operational challenge. Most participants did not consider their programmes to be overwhelmed by the number of claims filed. One jurisdiction cited challenges with having a non-standardized calculation of compensation amount and inadequate programme funding.

    Rather more detail at the link.

  14. @ BiND
    I accepted vaccination as one of an allegedly “high-risk” group (“old”) not to protect myself – I don’t believe that I am genuinely high-risk (relatively fit for my age) – but because if I did contract the disease I might infect others who were more vulnerable.

  15. @David Boycott – “Just price the product correctly and the supplier can fund the compensation payments. Why is there a role for government?”

    We have the Americans to thank for that. In the 1980s there were a succession of lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers alleging that their vaccines had caused various harms. As a result, vaccine manufacturers stopped producing vaccines. There was such a crisis that the federal government introduced a mandatory compensation fund which paid any claims and guaranteed immunity to the manufacturers.

    The reason why the problem was so bad in America is due to the way their legal system works – if an individual sues a large, wealthy corporation they benefit from a significant bias whereby the jury awards a huge sum even when it is not justified. In the case of vaccines, some lawsuits succeeded even though the harm alleged was not done by the vaccine at all.

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