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Government Not Liable For Vaccine-Related Deaths: Centre To Supreme Court

The Union government was responding to petition filed by parents of two women who allegedly died after receiving Covishield vaccines, as per reports.

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Centre said it's not liable for Covid-19 vaccine-related deaths
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The Union government has told the Supreme Court that it's not liable for any Covid-19 vaccine-related death, according to reports.

The government, responding to a petition, said a person believing any death is caused by a Covid-19 vaccine can approach a civil court for compensation, but the Union government is not liable for it, reported The Hindustan Times. Such claims will have to be decided on a case-by-case basis.

The government was responding to a petition filed by parents of two women who died after receiving Covid-19 vaccines. 

"The petition demanded an independent investigation into the deaths and an expert medical board to prepare a protocol for early detection and timely treatment of adverse effects following immunization (AEFI)...The petition argued by senior advocate Colin Gonsalves had pointed out that these deaths would not have resulted had there been informed consent of its after-effects," reported HT.

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IANS reported that the two daughters of petitioners who allegedly died after Covid-19 vaccination were aged 18 and 20. 

"The 18-year-old daughter of the first petitioner received the first dose of Covishield in May 2021 and died in June 2021. The 20-year-old daughter of the second petitioner received the first dose of Covishield in June 2021 and died in July 2021," reported IANS.

Covishield is the name of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by University of Oxford and firm AstraZeneca. It is manufactured on license in India by Serum Institute of India (SII). 

Vaccine manufacturers have been provided in other countries as well, such as the United States and United Kingdom. 

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In the United States, not just companies like Pfizer and Moderna are given immunity but the US government also has immunity as it's sovereign.

"You can’t sue the FDA for approving or disapproving a drug. That’s part of its sovereign immunity," said Dorit Reiss, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law to CNBC.

Sovereign immunity stems from the British rule where the monarch, the sovereign, cannot be sued.

"You couldn’t sue the king. So, America has sovereign immunity, and even each state has sovereign immunity," said lawyer Rogge Dunn to CNBC.

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