HHS extends legal immunity to Ebola vaccine makers
- Under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, the Department of Health and Human Services has promised that it will protect vaccine manufacturers from any legal action against these companies related to developing and testing their investigational vaccines.
- There is a sense of urgency as drug makers rush to develop a vaccine against Ebola, which has already killed 6,300 people, mainly in three African countries.
- The protection provided by the HHS will not protect vaccine manufacturers from lawsuits brought from outside of the U.S.
Desperate times call for desperate measures: An age-old aphorism that is particularly apt now, as Ebola continues to ravage Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. The move by HHS will protect companies developing vaccines—such as GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Newlink Genetics, and Bavarian Nordic—from legal action initiated in the U.S. related to manufacturing, testing, development, distribution, and administration of investigational vaccines against Ebloa.
Sierre Leone, in particular, is being ravaged by the epidemic.