Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

Covid-19 vaccine: ECOWAS wants compensation for side effects

The ECOWAS Vaccines Taskforce has recommended compensation for persons who suffer any side effects as a result of the COVID-19 vaccination.

The Director-General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), Stanley Okolo, made this known at the 5th Regional Steering Committee meeting of the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement Programme (REDISSE) held virtually on Saturday.

Mr Okolo said this is one of the resolutions adopted by the task force and presented to the ECOWAS Ministerial Coordinating Committee to encourage people to accept the COVID-19 vaccines.

“Normally, vaccine development takes five years or even, seven, eight years. Now, therefore, we have to think of how to share the indemnity in terms of if any problem develops,” Mr Okolo said.

He said the issue of indemnity is being taken up by COVAX, an initiative co-led by the vaccine alliance, GAVI and the World Health Organisation (WHO), to ensure equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine by dividing about two billion doses across 92 low-and middle-income countries.

“That is one of the issues now being taken up by COVAX, the global body that has been set up by WHO to look at how they indemnify some of the companies regarding the vaccines they supplied.”

“It’s not so much as indemnify but making sure there are reasoned claims against the companies.”

Mr Okolo said member countries in every part of the world have to think about the supplementary indemnity for their citizens.

He, however, noted that no side effects have been reported in countries that are vaccinating widely.

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