On December 9, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced a declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act to facilitate the development and availability of three experimental Ebola vaccines. This declaration is intended to assist in the global community’s effort to help combat the current epidemic in West Africa and help prevent future outbreaks there.
The declaration provides immunity under United States law against legal claims related to the manufacturing, testing, development, distribution, and administration of three vaccines for Ebola virus disease. It does not, generally, provide immunity for a claim brought in a court outside the United States.
By issuing the PREP Act, Secretary Burwell hopes to spur a global dialogue to address liability and compensation issues associated with Ebola vaccines in the U.S. and other countries where the vaccine is being developed, manufactured, and potentially used. It is expected that the issuance of the PREP Act will also increase the incentive to conduct more Ebola medical countermeasure research and aid in the development, manufacturing, and potential use of the Ebola vaccines in mass vaccination efforts in West Africa.
For the full press release with more details, click here.