June 11, 2:04 AMVaccines ExaminerNorma Erickson
Until 1988, vaccine manufacturers had to stand behind the products they produced. If they created a substandard or dangerous vaccine, they would face the consequences in a court of law.
In the early 80’s, vaccine manufacturers were overwhelmed with lawsuits from parents who blamed DTP vaccines for their children’s injuries. Companies that manufactured vaccines either halted, or threatened to halt production. For people in charge of protecting the health and welfare of the citizens of the United States, this was a frightening situation.
Government officials envisioned all of the vaccine-preventable diseases making a comeback and there not being enough vaccines available to halt their progress. In response, Congress passed the Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. The goals of this legislation all sounded good on the surface.
The Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was enacted to:
- Establish a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) to provide a no fault alternative to filing lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers and healthcare providers. This took effect on 1 October 1988.
- Provide victims an accessible and efficient means of obtaining compensation for injuries.
- Reduce the costs of litigation.
- Stabilize the cost of vaccines.
- Help prevent vaccine injuries through education and a vaccine adverse events reporting system (VAERS).
The act requires that doctors report all adverse events occurring within 30 days of vaccination to VAERS. However, it is estimated that only 10% of these events are actually reported.