Thursday 3 December 2020 6:58 am

Pfizer given protection from legal action by UK government

The government has granted Covid-19 manufacturer Pfizer a legal indemnity protecting it from being sued, enabling its coronavirus vaccine to be rolled out across the country as early as next week.

The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed the company has been given an indemnity protecting it from legal action as a result of any problems with the vaccine, the Independent reported.

Read more: Pfizer vaccine to be rolled out across 50 hospital hubs from next week

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved for use in the UK, with roll out planned for early next week, becoming the first Western country to approve a vaccine.

NHS staff providing the vaccine, as well as manufacturers of the drug, are also protected.

Read more: Pfizer vaccine: Matt Hancock green-lights 800,000 doses for rollout next week

In a press conference with journalists on Wednesday, Ben Osborn, Pfizer’s UK managing director, refused to explain why the company needed an indemnity.

He said: “We’re not actually disclosing any of the details around any of the aspects of that agreement and specifically around the liability clauses.”

Read more: ‘No corners have been cut’: UK’s top scientists ward off anti-vaxxers with vaccine rollout plan

Around 50 hospital hubs around England will start offering the Pfizer vaccine to patients and staff in care homes from next week.

The NHS will also start sending letters out next week inviting vulnerable members of the population to go and get a vaccine from a designated hospital. 

The Pfizer/Biontech vaccine, which comes in packs of 975 doses, will first be given to the most vulnerable Brits, going down the generational chart.