By Sandra Malhotra and Brenna Wilburn
The American public is largely unaware that there is a “Vaccine Court”, otherwise known as the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). This program was started as a result of the Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, in which drug companies were granted partial liability protection. Translation: if you or your child are injured by a vaccine, you must go through the NVICP to appeal for financial compensation; you can’t sue the drug company at first.
The Start of the Vaccine Court
The NVICP was created in 1986 when four big drug companies (Merck, Wyeth, Lederle, Connaught) blackmailed Congress by threatening to stop selling vaccines in America unless a law was passed giving them complete immunity from prosecution.
Why the fit of pique? The pharmaceutical industry knew they were in big trouble because the old, crude whooping cough vaccine in the DPT shot was causing brain inflammation and death in many children. In addition, the live oral polio vaccine was crippling children and adults with vaccine-strain polio, so Americans were filing lawsuits to hold drug companies responsible for the safety of their products.
Fortunately, parents successfully argued that if Congress was going to give drug companies partial liability protection through the creation of a federal vaccine injury compensation alternative to a lawsuit, then language had to be written into the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 that protected a citizen’s right to sue drug companies when federal compensation was denied, or the company had the technological ability to make a vaccine less toxic but refused to do it.
This was good news because continued civil liability was the safety net for American consumers in that law. It was the leverage that gave some financial incentive for drug companies to make vaccines safer and gave some political incentive for government officials to award federal compensation to the vaccine injured.
No Liability in the Vaccine Industry
Then in 2011, six activist Supreme Court judges ripped the liability safety net from the U.S. mass vaccination system and wrote the pharmaceutical companies a blank check by deliberately ignoring the language and legislative history of the 1986 Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.
In a 6-2 decision, the Court majority voted to reject substantial evidence that current law was fully intended to protect an American’s right to sue a pharmaceutical corporation for injuries that could have been prevented if the company had elected to make a safer vaccine. Only Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg, in an accurate and brilliant dissenting opinion, stood up for the people.
The court decision left parents with no way to hold vaccine makers accountable and no feasible way to get compensation for the injuries suffered by their children. Furthermore, the decision removes all financial incentive for multi-national drug companies to make vaccines as safe as they can be.
If you or a family member is injured or dies from vaccines, the only alternative now is to sue the federal government in this special vaccine court as described here https://www.hrsa.gov/ vaccinecompensation/. Many cases are litigated for years and a settlement is far from guaranteed, even for obvious vaccine injuries. Any compensation that is granted is footed by tax payers, not the pharmaceutical companies.
Inside the Vaccine Court
How busy is the Vaccine Court? Since 1988, over 18,247 petitions have been filed with the NVICP. Over that 29-year time period, 16,430 petitions have been adjudicated, with 5,482 of those determined to be compensated, while 10,948 were dismissed. That means that about 1 in 3 petitions were successful. Total compensation paid over the life of the program is approximately $3.7 billion. Not an insignificant amount of damages paid.
Let’s just do a thought experiment. If between 1 and 10% of vaccine injuries are actually reported, then range for the number of petitions that should have been filed is between 164,300 and 1,643,000.
Can you think of anything thing else that has maimed or killed anywhere from tens of thousands to over 1 million of our citizens? That is making multi-national pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars per year, allowing them to blanket the airwaves with advertisements and buy off politicians? That we have no civil legal recourse to remedy? That we are required to inject into our bodies for schooling or employment? That we are ridiculed for questioning and demanding better answers regarding safety?