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[Correspondence] Legal preparedness and Ebola vaccines

On Dec 9, 2014, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell issued a declaration1 under the US Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act to provide immunity from legal claims in the USA related to manufacturing, testing, development, distribution, and administration of three candidate Ebola vaccines except in instances of wilful misconduct. Although progress in combating Ebola in west Africa has shifted public attention away from vaccine development and deployment, we should not forget that the management of legal liabilities related to vaccines has been an important subject of discussion between national governments, international organisations, vaccine manufacturers, and other parties who have been engaged in the worldwide response to the Ebola outbreak during the past year.