Our National Response to COVID Has Been Confused and Haphazard – What Does This Mean For the Future?
In the United States, our system of government affords us the ability to focus more closely at geographic needs at the state level. But this can be a good new/bad news scenario, as we have seen with our nation’s current COVID response.
Some states such as South Carolina and Florida attempted to offer large populations sweeping access to vaccines out of the gate, but new reports suggest that this haphazard and rushed approach ended up not getting the actual product to the populations that needed it most in the most expedient and effective way possible.
While most states considered national recommendations to effectively offer vaccines to frontline and healthcare workers and the most vulnerable elderly population, some bowed to political pressure to rush the response. Consequently, it is suggested that these state’s citizens actually received fewer vaccines than those states that had a more measured and organized approach.
The Haphazard Response to COVID Left an Information Void
Like everything else surrounding COVID, states had their own take on ways to protect their population. Unfortunately, opening up too quickly to too much of the population created a demand that some simply did not have the infrastructure to handle.
This led to confusing and sporadic information, undependable and unpredictable supply chains, downed phone access, and crashed websites. And, as we have seen during the past year, the information void was soon filled with conspiracy theories, spawning even more unrest among people whose patience was already stretched thin.
With Expediency May Come Risk
While the rollout of COVID vaccines has been unprecedented, it further opens the door to potential risk without the usual vetting of vaccines and their long-term effects. While the CDC is keeping watchful for adverse effects of the various vaccines, headlines have surfaced insinuating that vaccines are causing deaths in vaccinated individuals. So far, authorities have found no links between these deaths and the vaccines, however.
While not cleared for use in the United States yet, there has been plenty of press concerning the AstraZeneca vaccine and reported instances of thromboembolic events in other countries. These precipitated a vaccine safety group from the World Health Organization to recently report that there was no causal data indicating an increase of risk of blood clots in individuals who had the vaccine administered.
AstraZeneca’s future in the United States is still questionable. This morning, the Associated Press reported that American health officials indicated that a new U.S. trial for the drug with encouraging results may have used “outdated information.”
Will There Be Legal Implications?
Historically, vaccines have been tested and reviewed over periods of 10 to 15 years using standardized regulations and procedures. Organizations knew that we didn’t have time for this, however, given the deadly nature of the virus.
With our current unprecedented fast-tracking, large pharmaceutical companies competing for rollout, the multiple different vaccines available, and our haphazard implementation of vaccinating populations, it remains to be seen how this will play out in the future. Injury lawyers who represent victims in product liability incidents are watching closely. Although pharmaceutical companies are largely immune from many legal challenges, if misconduct is unearthed in the production, there may potentially be instances of liability.
Holding companies responsible for the safety of consumers who use their product is inherent in our legal system. If you have questions, or have been harmed by a consumer product or service, our team of product liability lawyers at LV Personal Injury Lawyers can help. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.