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Texas Republican controversial bill seeks to give millions of Americans more power to sue COVID vaccine producers

The COVID pandemic is well behind, but Americans continues to grapple with its long-term impacts. Chip Roy, a Republican representative from Texas, proposes legislation aimed at providing recourse for individuals who attribute their health issues to COVID vaccines. This initiative emerges as countless Americans navigate the economic repercussions spawned by the pandemic. Under the proposed bill, individuals who believe they have suffered adverse effects from the vaccines may gain the legal right to pursue claims against the vaccine manufacturers.

The COVID vaccines

During the height of the pandemic, the pressing need for a swift countermeasure led the government to solicit the expertise of pharmaceutical companies in developing a vaccine. Several leading companies rose to the challenge, producing vaccines that were expedited for use, bypassing the traditional, lengthy testing processes. Emergency use authorizations were subsequently granted by U.S. health authorities, enabling widespread vaccination efforts aimed at quelling the pandemic.

Pharma companies can’t be held accountable for COVID vaccine side effects

Pharmaceutical companies are usually not shielded extensively by liability protections under existing laws. However, in the context of COVID vaccines, the federal government has extended significant immunity to companies like Pfizer and Moderna against claims of unintended adverse effects. Additionally, it is not feasible to initiate legal action against the Food and Drug Administration for its emergency vaccine approvals, nor can employers be held liable for requiring vaccinations as a condition of employment.

The Texas representative to change that

Last week, Rep. Chip Roy, a Republican from Texas, introduced a legislation that would enable Americans to file lawsuits against COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers for health issues purportedly linked to the COVID vaccines. The bill, named the Let Injured Americans Be Legally Empowered (LIABLE) Act, seeks to eliminate the legal protections currently afforded to COVID-19 vaccine producers, thereby subjecting them to potential civil lawsuits.

Read also: AOC slams Dem. Senate members for not doing their jobs properly: “We need to go after the Supreme Court”

The bill, Let Injured Americans Be Legally Empowered (LIABLE) Act, seeks to eliminate the legal protections against COVID vaccine producers

About the controversial bill

A summary of the bill obtained by Fox News Digital said, “The LIABLE Act will allow Americans who took vaccines that were misleadingly promoted and forced onto many Americans via federal mandates to pursue civil litigation for their injuries. These vaccines were given emergency use authorization unilaterally and did not go through the normal FDA approval process.”

The bill, Let Injured Americans Be Legally Empowered (LIABLE) Act, seeks to eliminate the legal protections against COVID vaccine producers

The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act

Right now, the companies making and giving out COVID-19 vaccines are pretty much protected against being sued in court, even if people who got hurt by the vaccine can prove it with medical evidence. This is due to a law from 2005 called the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act. This law helps keep these companies safe from legal trouble when they are working on treatments for health crises.

The PREP Act also set up a special fund called the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) to help people who got really hurt or died because of these treatments. But, there’s a catch: you only have one year to ask for help, and it’s tough to get it. Roy points out that, even though lots of people have asked for compensation, the program has only agreed to help 11 times.

Read also: California to use taxpayers’ money to defend convicted migrants in court for free under new controversial bill

Roy defends the bill

“Millions of Americans were forced to take a COVID-19 shot out of fear of losing their livelihoods and under false pretenses,” Roy told Fox News Digital. “Many have faced injury from the vaccine, but few have been afforded…recourse. To date, a mere 11 injury claims have been paid out despite nearly 700 million doses of the vaccine having been administered.”

The bill, Let Injured Americans Be Legally Empowered (LIABLE) Act, seeks to eliminate the legal protections against COVID vaccine producers

COVID vaccine producers’ protections

Even though the official health emergency declaration for COVID-19 was called off last May, the special legal shield given to vaccine makers under the PREP Act is expected to stick around till the end of this year. This info comes from a study by the Congressional Research Service. Roy is pushing for a new law, the LIABLE Act, which would let people claiming to be injured from the vaccine to retroactively sue companies, despite these protections.

The bill, Let Injured Americans Be Legally Empowered (LIABLE) Act, seeks to eliminate the legal protections against COVID vaccine producers

Read also: Millions of migrants who cross the border in Texas and California are also bringing contagious diseases

Pros and cons

The COVID-19 vaccine has been praised for saving a lot of lives during the health crisis. However, some people have pointed fingers at the vaccine for causing serious problems like blood clots, strokes, and in some cases, sudden death. While these issues need further research and studies, they have caught the attention of some Republican politicians. These politicians argue that forcing people to get the vaccine steps on their right to keep their health choices private.

Roy’s latest bill has at least a dozen House GOP co-sponsors.

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