IDB aims to ease liability concerns about Covid-19 vaccination

Washington, Mar 12 (efe-epa).- The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has developed an instrument intended to provide Covid-19 vaccination liability protection to Latin America and Caribbean governments and to the pharmaceutical companies that produce the vaccines.

IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone said Thursday that as countries in the region work to obtain vaccines, some governments, including Peru’s, have expressed concern that they would be exposed to liability if they agreed to the indemnity clauses sought by pharmaceutical companies.

To address the problem, the IDB has added to its $1 billion vaccination financing program an instrument designed to limit the exposure of both governments and pharmaceutical companies in the first phase of immunization.

“What we have done is to identify the financial barriers to create an innovative financial instrument to help the region. It is the first guarantee instrument of its kind ever created, guaranteeing terms and conditions, as well as contingencies and liabilities for countries and pharmaceutical companies,” Claver-Carone told a press conference.

The IDB president said that the initiative could make an important impact by removing barriers to vaccination.

He also predicted that it would serve to accelerate immunization throughout the region, which represents less than 10 percent of the world’s population yet accounts for more than 25 percent of Covid-19 deaths.

The program will initially serve the nine countries that have signed up for the vaccination finance and logistics program: Argentina, Belize, Bahamas, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Trinidad and Tobago.

At the press conference, Claver-Carone also hailed the introduction in the United States Senate of a bill to increase the IDB’s annual lending capacity from $12 billion to $20 billion. EFE jmr/hma/dmt/lap/dr

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