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Vaccine Defect and Compensation in England and in the EU: A Critical Analysis

Holtinkoski, Henna

Opinnäytetyöt 1.6.2021, Gradut ja muut tutkielmat


The current Covid-19 pandemic has once again shown the importance of vaccines. Albeit being important, vaccines can cause injuries and those who are injured will generally want some type of compensation for the harm they have suffered. Although developed countries have quite functioning legal systems, coherent legal response suitable for every country in the form of adequate damage payments would offer some sort of justice for the injured parties and lower litigation costs.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss medicinal product defects, focusing on vaccine defects by explaining the laws, regulations, legal tests and legal remedies applicable in this debated area of law. The scope of this paper encompasses qualitative research of a black letter law methodology where the research is based on explaining the legal rules, caselaw and literature. A comparative nature is also adapted since the paper assesses the differences between English and Finnish claimants’ access to justice by using the H1N1 scandal as an example to show the obstacles Finnish claimants face due to legislative and precedential differences between the countries. Critical analysis will also be used to show the relevance of the proposed recommendations at the end of the paper.

The findings show the gaps in the current legal system not only on an EU level but also domestically: Finnish claimants recover less damage payments compared to English claimants due to lack of proper vaccine damage legislation and differences in the compensation system. Moreover, the compensation amounts can vary from country to country.

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