Blanket immunity for vaccine makers not provided under Vaccine Program Act — Marcos

Published March 23, 2021, 12:26 PM

by Mario Casayuran

 Vaccine manufacturers are immune from suits for claims arising out of the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine but not for willful misconduct or gross negligence. 

Senator Imee R. Marcos issued this statement to clarify President Duterte’s statement that government could not shoulder indemnity for all vaccine purchases.

Senator Imee R. Marcos

The President anchored his “immunity from suit” opinion on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Act recently passed by Congress, she pointed out.

‘’Perhaps what the President was addressing was the call for ‘blanket immunity’ by some vaccine manufacturers, which clearly goes against the law and is patently contrary to public policy. Thus, the Vaccination Law recently passed by Congress and signed by PRRD last February 26 limits that absolute exemption from the suit,’’ she said

Marcos quoted Section 8 of the Act which states that “notwithstanding any law to the contrary, public officials and employees, contractors, manufacturers, volunteers, and representatives of duly authorized private entities who are duly authorized to carry out and are actually carrying out the COVID-19 vaccination program shall be immune from suit and liability under Philippine laws with respect to all claims arising out, related to, or resulting from the administration or use of a COVID-19 vaccine under the COVID-19 vaccination program except arising from willful misconduct and gross negligence.”

‘’Still, any vaccine recipient can file claims for damages, based on the vaccine manufacturer’s liabilities arising from willful misconduct and gross negligence,’’ she said.

‘’No one can be deprived of their individual and private rights to file suit,’’ she added.