Soon the trial of the first trials of people who claim health problems because of vaccines. Biontech will likely pay the first damages.
Anyone who got sick after being vaccinated against the coronavirus thought the vaccine might be to blame. For a long time, these suspicions were dismissed out of hand. Now the potential effects of vaccines are being taken seriously, even by German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, while lawsuits have been filed against some vaccine companies. The question is multiple and complex. However, its essence lies in causality according to deutsche welle.
What are legal proceedings?
The first civil trial was originally scheduled for late April, but was postponed until July 7. The content of the action against the Biontech company includes claims for compensation for moral and physical damage. Additionally, two major law firms are said to be representing three personalities in related lawsuits, with various vaccine companies as defendants.
The same liability rules apply to coronavirus vaccines as to other medicines. The company can be held liable if, for example, there are manufacturing defects. The crux of the matter is causation: can harm be causally attributed to vaccination?
What are companies saying?
The Biontech company points out that “so far, no causal link between the health damage presented and the vaccination can be proven in any of the cases examined”. A company spokesperson told the German Press Agency that “we take our responsibility as vaccine manufacturers very seriously.” Biontech will carefully review each case, provided sufficient documentation has been submitted. “When evaluating the case, we can rely solely on medical data to assess whether or not there is a causal link. Unfortunately, this data is often lacking.”
What are the effects of vaccines?
The terms are often confused. On the one hand, there is the “vaccine reaction”. These are typical symptoms such as redness, swelling or pain at the injection site. Fever, headache and pain in the limbs are also considered normal, as they are an expression of the immune system’s desired reaction to the vaccine.
The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), which is responsible for vaccine safety, considers a “vaccine complication” to be an adverse reaction that occurs after vaccination, which, on the one hand, may be causally related to vaccination and, on the other hand, goes beyond reaction symptoms. “Vaccine damage” in the narrowest sense refers to the “health and economic consequences” of this complication.
“Serious side effects” are legally defined as vaccine effects “that are fatal or life-threatening, require hospitalization or prolonged hospitalization, result in permanent or severe disability, incapacity, and birth defects or birth defects.”
What effects are known?
PEI lists the following serious complications of vaccination: myopericarditis, heart disease, possible blood clots in the brain or elsewhere, facial paralysis, a type of muscle weakness called Guillain-Barré syndrome, and hearing loss. According to PEI data, all are either “rare” (one case per 1,000 to 10,000 vaccinations) or “very rare” (less than one case per 10,000 vaccinations).
According to the institute’s latest detailed report, there have been 120 cases in which a “probable or possible causal relationship” has been identified between a death and vaccination against the coronavirus.
How many suspected cases have been counted?
Since vaccination began, a total of 183,000,000 coronavirus vaccinations have been administered, according to the Robert Koch Institute. The reporting rate was 1.8 per 1,000 doses of vaccine, while for suspected cases of serious adverse side effects and complications, it was 0.3 reporting per 1,000 doses of vaccine.
Time and time again, the media reports dramatic incidents, such as the case of a former teenage athlete who died after the second dose of vaccination and is now in a wheelchair. “However, based on current data, cases like this are so rare that they don’t register as a statistical phenomenon,” said Leif Eric Sander, vaccine researcher and chief of the infectious disease clinic at the Berlin Charité, explaining that if there had been an accumulation of such incidents, it would have been seen in the PEI data. and – with more than 13 billion vaccination doses worldwide – even more in international data. And it doesn’t happen.
Are incidents swept under the rug?
Opponents of coronavirus vaccines say yes. In 2022, for example, it was claimed that private practitioners perceived the side effects of vaccinations 2.5 million times. This would cause problems in 1.5% of all coronavirus vaccinations. With conventional vaccinations before the use of mRNA, the corresponding figure was 0.3%.
The fact checkers concluded that different things were equated here and the wrong conclusions were drawn. For example, harmless vaccine reactions, which are common, and serious vaccine complications, which are very rare, have been grouped together.
Have any refunds been made so far?
Several hundred people have benefited from pension rights. These are not allowances, but benefits from the competent state pension services. If the corresponding application is rejected, the applicant can appeal the decision to the court. Again, the question is whether the damage was causally caused by him. According to a survey by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, by mid-March 2023, 6,600 claims for retirement benefits due to damage from the coronavirus vaccine had been filed in 13 of the 16 federal states. Of these, 284 were accepted.
What is Post Vac?
The term Post-Vac refers to the effects after vaccination. In general, these are symptoms that can also appear after other infections. Professor Bernhard Schiffer, head of the outpatient clinic at the University Hospital Marburg, explains that “it is impossible to draw a conclusion from the first examination whether the symptoms are really due to the vaccination”. Moreover, not only the causal link must be verified, but also the distinction made between those who were simply vaccinated and those who, in addition to vaccination, also contracted the coronavirus.
How does politics react?
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has promised that the state will take care of those who have suffered long-term damage from infection or vaccination against the coronavirus. Lauterbach announced in March on ZDF’s “heute journal” that a program would be set up to investigate the effects of Long-Covid and Post-Vac and improve patient care. The long-term effects of a vaccination should be recognized more quickly. Commentators, however, considered it a 180 degree turn from the minister, who in the past has emphasized the safety of coronavirus vaccines.
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