This paper will examine the creation of a federal AIDS compensation scheme for victims of injuries caused by vaccines which are distributed as a part of a national immunization program. As a preliminary inquiry, I will examine the impact of perceived liability on potential manufacturers to determine whether the risk of liability for manufacturers decreases the possibility that a successful AIDS vaccine will be introduced into the market. I will then discuss whether, given the present laws and economic incentives surrounding the vaccine industry, a federal compensation scheme for an AIDS vaccine is necessary. After analyzing the unique problems of AIDS and its implications for the design of a compensation scheme, I will present one model for a compensation scheme. The model is premised upon the distinctive difficulties of the introduction of a licensed AIDS vaccine in the mass immunization context. The need for implementation of an active post-market surveillance system will be addressed. Finally, I will discuss the possible costs of such a program, emphasizing the impact of the chosen immunization strategy on the extent of liability.
Catherine M. Polizzi, A Proposal for a Federal AIDS Immunization Policy, 9 J.L. & Health 1 (1994-1995)