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Exclusive-Vaccine maker Serum waives AstraZeneca shot indemnity for refugee programme

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By Reuters
Exclusive-Vaccine maker Serum waives AstraZeneca shot indemnity for refugee programme
Exclusive-Vaccine maker Serum waives AstraZeneca shot indemnity for refugee programme   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  

<div> <p>By Francesco Guarascio and Pushkala Aripaka</p> <p> – The Serum Institute of India (<span class="caps">SII</span>) has waived its protection from legal liabilities for any AstraZeneca-Oxford <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 shots it supplies to a global programme for refugees, a spokesperson for the <span class="caps">GAVI</span> vaccine alliance told Reuters on Wednesday. </p> <p>The news comes days after Reuters reported that tens of millions of migrants may be denied <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 vaccines from the vaccine-sharing programme <span class="caps">COVAX</span> because of concerns over who would be liable in the event of harmful side-effects. </p> <p>Many <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 vaccine manufacturers require that countries indemnify them for any adverse events suffered by individuals as a result of the vaccines. But where governments are not in control – in the case of refugees – that is not possible.</p> <p>With the waiver, <span class="caps">SII</span>’s version of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, Covishield, can now be allocated to <span class="caps">COVAX</span>’s Humanitarian Buffer – a last-resort reserve of shots to be distributed by humanitarian groups, the <span class="caps">GAVI</span> representative said.</p> <p><span class="caps">SII</span>, the world’s biggest manufacturer of vaccines which also produces a version of Novavax’s <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 shot, declined to comment. </p> <p>AstraZeneca-Serum are currently the main suppliers of <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 vaccines to <span class="caps">COVAX</span>, but are set to be displaced by Pfizer and BioNTech at the start of 2022.</p> <p><span class="caps">GAVI</span>, a public-private partnership, was set up in 2000 to promote vaccination around the world. It operates <span class="caps">COVAX</span> together with the World Health Organization to supply <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 shots to poorer nations.</p> <p/> </div>