When the management of Ginés González García signed in November 2020 the contract with AstraZeneca UK Limited, the national State agreed to keep that lab undamaged of the damage, responsibilities and legal costs arising from the application of their coronavirus vaccines, unless it is proven that there was intentional fraudulent conduct on the part of the company.
The Ministry of Health of the Nation I quit, at the same time, to any claim that has to do with the lack of safety or efficacy of the doses produced in conjunction with the University of Oxford, as it may have learned TN.com.ar when accessing details of the agreement by 22.4 million doses. AstraZeneca’s is one of the eight agreements reached by the national government for vaccines against COVID-19.
Each contract has its peculiarities, although a common denominator persists: the country must take charge of any claim or demand for the possible adverse effects of the vaccines, unless it is shown that there were failures or irregularities in the manufacture of the doses. However, the process will not be easy at all: controversies and conflicts will be resolved in almost all cases in foreign courts, like Beijing, Paris and Singapore.
What each of the contracts with the vaccine laboratories says
TN.com.ar analyzed seven of the eight agreements and made an X-ray of the fine print of these: from the law of England in the deal by Sputnik V to the eventual resolution of conflicts with the COVAX mechanism through arbitration in Switzerland. A point by point with details never revealed before that seek to answer a question that persists since the beginning of the immunization plan: Who is responsible for the application of the doses: the Government or the laboratories?
In mid-2021, and given the numerous requests for access to public information on TN.com.ar To know details of the contracts, the Ministry of Health of the Nation decided to publish a dossier with data on the agreements. This article is the result of an analysis of these data.
AstraZeneca: Argentina waives claims for lack of efficacy or safety
The contract with AstraZeneca UK Limited states that the buyer (the Ministry of Health of the Nation) will keep the laboratory harmless of all responsibility for the application of the doses. It will do so “from and against each and every one of the damages and legal costs for death, physical, mental or emotional damage, disability or condition related to or arising from the use or administration of the vaccine.” This agreement establishes that Argentina will not be responsible for these lawsuits in the event that it is proven that there was “intentional fraudulent conduct (by the manufacturer) or a measure by a competent court”.
This agreement with the English laboratory presents a particularity: the national government also waives any claim related to the lack of safety or efficacy of the vaccines. The deal with this laboratory is for 22.4 million doses at a unit price of US $ 4. It is a contract that is investigated by federal prosecutor Guillermo Marijuán, as a result of non-compliance with the delivery of serum by this firm.
It is that according to official documentation that TN.com.ar accessed, the preliminary delivery schedule established that the total of the promised sera would be in the country by July, which clearly did not happen: at the end of this note the country had obtained 14,022,600 of these vaccines.
In this sense, if the country initiates a lawsuit against AstraZeneca UK Limited for this or another reason, the contract establishes that the courts of the City of Buenos Aires must intervene. The parties must have previously tried to resolve the issue through dialogue.
Before consulting TN.com.arAstraZeneca authorities assured that “the indemnification clause contains standard language that has been included in contracts around the world.” They argued, in turn, that this dose was made available to as many countries “as possible.”
Sinopharm: the laboratory is not responsible for adverse effects, except negligence
The laboratory that sold the most vaccines to Argentina – the country already has 28,856,000 of these sera – is not responsible for the possible adverse effects of the vaccine “and all the risks related” to it. In the documentation you accessed TN.com.ar it is known that the country guarantees that Sinopharm will be “free of all responsibility, loss or expenses” with respect to the application of doses, including claims of third parties for the use of the product.
In this section, it is clarified in what situation the country should not be responsible for possible complications as a result of vaccination. “The limit is given by those fraudulent, negligent conducts, declarations and guarantees of the contract. In these cases, the buyer should not respond ”, assures the vaccination dossier of the Ministry of Health of the Nation.
In the hypothetical case that controversies or conflicts arise between the parties, if it cannot be resolved amicably, the matter will be discussed through a arbitration of the China Economic and Arbitration Commission in Beijing. The judgment will be final and binding for the parties, that is, Argentina cannot claim again if the definition of the case is unfavorable.
Sputnik V: doubts and a gray in the responsibility of the Russian Direct Investment Fund
One of the most unknown data of the contract with the Russian Direct Investment Fund is that the agreement and its interpretations are governed by the laws of england and that in the event of a dispute, it will be resolved through arbitration by the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, a process that will be carried out in Paris.
The judgment of this arbitration will be final for the parties and as reported by the Ministry of Health of the Nation, when signing the contract, the country refused to resort to any other legal procedure other than this arbitration.
In the document accessed by this medium it is not established what is the responsibility of Russia by the application of the doses. It is a gray in the agreement since the Casa Rosada only reported that “no indemnity clause is established.” Legislative sources that had access to the contract affirm that the Russian Direct Investment Fund is not responsible for the adverse effects but the Ministry of Health refuses to deliver the agreement by ensuring that it is protected by confidentiality clauses.
Before the consultation of this medium, sources close to the Russian authorities assured that “they will not comment on issues related to contracts.”
Pfizer: three arbitrators and a confidentiality clause that prevents knowing responsibilities
Yes one pfizer vaccine produces adverse effects and consequently a demand is generated It is not possible to know if the national State or the laboratory will respond to this claim since the Ministry of Health of the Nation reported that indemnity clauses are protected by confidentiality.
The contract with the North American laboratory establishes that in the event of a conflict or controversy between the national State and Pfizer, the matter will be resolved through arbitration by the International Chamber of Commerce. There will be three arbitrators, two of these appointed by each party and a third by agreement. The headquarters of the process will be New York, and the procedure, in English. The agreement is also governed by the laws of that city.
Negotiations to reach an agreement with Pfizer lasted for more than a year due to the differences of the parties over the inclusion of the word “negligence” in the agreement, which caused the Government to modify the Vaccines and Vaccines Law by decree. withdraw, among other issues, that concept from the regulations that for the laboratory managers opened the doors to a wave of lawsuits against the company. The agreement is for 20 million sera, which are already used to combine vaccines or inoculate minors between 12 and 17 years old.
Moderna: the country will defend the laboratory against third-party claims
According to the official documentation accessed by this medium, Argentina will hold harmless Modern and will defend it against claims, fines, damages, costs or lawsuits that may arise from third parties due to the application of the vaccines that will begin to arrive in the country in 2022.
There will only be exceptions if a intentional unlawful act by Moderna or if this company ignores a known risk in the manufacture of the vaccine. Any controversy will be resolved according to the laws of New York. The country expects 20 million vaccines to arrive in 2022.
COVAX (AstraZeneca): arbitration will take place in Switzerland
Argentina exonerates COVAX of responsibility for “damages and liabilities”Associated with the use of the vaccine. Including the claims of third parties, successors or heirs of those who have suffered such damages as a result of the vaccination. COVAX will only respond if it is proven that there was intentional misconduct or if a court asserts that the company violated good vaccine manufacturing practices or pharmacovigilance regulations.
If the matter cannot be resolved amicably, an arbitration will be resorted to, according to the rules of the United Nations Commission for International Trade Law, which will be held in Switzerland and will be governed by the laws of England. The sentence will be final.
CanSino: the contract is governed by Singapore Law
Any dispute over the contract will be resolved under Singapore Law at the Singapore International Arbitration Center. According to the contract, Argentina “will indemnify, defend and hold CanSinoBIO and Cassara harmless from and against any damage, claim or injury to third parties arising from breaches of the Government of the obligations established in the contract.”
How many adverse effects were recorded in Argentina
According to the latest Vaccine Safety report, as of July 31, 2021, the Integrated Health Information System of Argentina registered 50.463 “Events supposedly attributed to vaccination and immunization”, in other words, adverse effects. Of this total, it appears that 1.99% -approximately 1000 cases- were considered serious, although it is in an epidemiological study.
The Ministry of Health of the Nation reported that most vaccines only produce mild adverse effects such as fever, headache, muscle pain, vomiting, allergy, among others.
Infographic: Camila Perez Diaz
Cameras: Lele Heredia
This note is part of a series of articles in which TN.com.ar revealed the price of each of the vaccines purchased by the Government, the total amount of money that has already been paid for these and how many years the confidentiality clauses on the contracts last.
In this series, this medium announced that AstraZeneca pledged 22 million serums for July, which was never fulfilled; published the first time that the contract with Russia contemplated “additional” millionaire costs in dollars and exposed the amount of money that was paid in advance to COVAX the mechanism that seeks equitable distribution of sera throughout the world. Also that CanSino achieved one of the longest confidentiality clauses of vaccines in Argentina.
Disclaimer: This article is generated from the feed and not edited by our team.