Washington, DC (Jan. 26)—The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS, www.hhs.gov) has granted targeted liability protections for manufacturers of a vaccine to prevent a pandemic of influenza A (H5N1).
The new declaration states that manufacturers of vaccines used to prevent potential avian pandemics will receive immunity from product liability claims. According to the Federal Register notice, it is “intended to alleviate certain liability concerns associated with pandemic countermeasures, and, therefore, ensure that the countermeasures are available and can be administered in the event an avian influenza virus spreads and evolves into a strain capable of causing a pandemic.”
With this measure, HHS hopes to encourage the development, clinical testing, manufacture, and distribution of an influenza A vaccine. The declaration went into effect December 1, 2006 and continues through February 28, 2010.