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The World Bank Won’t Provide Countries Vaccine Funding Without Indemnification For Vaccine Makers

The World Bank is working closely with 100 countries to undermine rules that ensure individuals injured by vaccines can sue vaccine makers through legislation or other processes. Only by indemnifying vaccine makers can countries receive from the World Bank low-interest loans and funding to purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, according to World Bank President David Malpass. 

In October, The World Bank’s executive board approved $12 billion of new funding for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments for an estimated 1 billion people more than 24 months. As is usually the case with World Bank money–historically austerity measures and economic medicine–countries will have to meet certain requirements to receive funds. 

The World Bank has pledged $160 billion in total resources for developing countries through June 2021 to help them fight the coronavirus pandemic. That includes technical support to recipient countries so they can prepare for deploying vaccines at scale, and it is meant to signal future demand to drug companies. 

The World Bank is a founding member of the Gavi Alliance, and leads the Alliance’s economic and financing strategies through a range of bodies, and has a permanent seat on the Gavi Board. The Gavi alliance received $4 billion through the most recent stimulus bill best known for the debate over whether the people would receive $600 or $2000. 

Since 1986, The United States has already indemnified vaccine makers.  The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, was part of a larger health bill, and eliminated the potential liability of vaccine manufacturers due to vaccine injury claims.