Almost 30 vaccines against COVID-19 are being tested worldwide.
Development is being rushed, and that has some worried the treatments could have unexpected side effects.
As a result, the U.S. has shifted legal liability for the vaccines to the government, shielding drugmakers from any fallout.
In the EU, it’s a different story.
Officials there say vaccine makers can have only partial protection.
The bloc’s strict rules on liability remain in place, having been tightened in 2017.
That year the EU’s top court ruled that vaccine users could get compensation if a shot caused any negative side-effect - even if there was no scientific consensus on their claim.
And that may be proving a problem in securing vaccine supplies for the region.
So far the bloc has agreed just one supply deal.
The agreement with AstraZeneca afforded the UK firm only limited legal protection.
Back in July, EU officials told Reuters that liability issues were a stumbling block in talks with U.S. drugmakers Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
Meanwhile, European financial backing for the pharmaceutical companies also looks relatively modest.
The U.S. has set aside 30 billion dollars to cover issues including vaccine development and possibly compensation.
Europe’s emergency fund is only expected to use about 2.4 billion dollars to help with development and cover liabilities.