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Vaccine Makers Profit from Government-Granted Immunity

March 12, 2009 | 30,517 views

vaccine, vaccinationIn a building kitty-corner from the White House across Pennsylvania Avenue is a special "vaccines court" which hears cases brought by parents who claim their children have been harmed by routine vaccinations.

The court buffers makers of childhood-disease vaccines from much of the litigation risk that other drugmakers must face. It is an important reason why the vaccine business has been transformed from a low-profit venture in the 1970’s to one of the pharmaceutical industry's most attractive product lines today.

The court operates because of a legal shield known as the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which was put into place in 1986 to encourage the development of vaccines. A spate of lawsuits against vaccine makers in the 1970’s and 1980’s had caused dozens of companies to get out of the business. Now, vaccines are big business. They will generate $21.5 billion in annual sales for their makers by 2012.

Critics of the program say a recent vaccine court ruling that routine childhood immunizations aren't linked to autism underscored the limited recourse families have in claiming injury from vaccines. Many plaintiffs' lawyers would prefer to take their lawsuits directly to civil court.
 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Prior to October 1, 1988, if you or your child were injured by a vaccine you were allowed to file a lawsuit against a vaccine manufacturer to receive compensation for harm arising from the vaccine. Since that legislation passed anyone who is now injured  and wishes to receive compensation is required to apply through The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), the so-called “vaccine court,” prior to pursuing a lawsuit.

This program has boosted vaccine sales growth immensely -- by 2015 it’s estimated that vaccinations will morph into a $21.5-billion industry -- largely because they have ZERO liability for the products they produce.

If a child becomes seriously injured or even dies after receiving a vaccine, the vaccine makers are completely shielded -- and IF they are ever awarded compensation through NVICP, it is the taxpayers who pay, not the vaccine makers.

Who is the Vaccine Court Really Looking Out For?

NVICP was “established to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilize vaccine costs, and establish and maintain an accessible and efficient forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines.”

But when you read between the lines, you discover what this really means is that a program has been put into place to protect vaccine manufacturers (i.e. “ensure an adequate supply of vaccines”) and NOT to look out for those injured by vaccines.

According to Barbara Loe Fisher, one of the top vaccine experts in the world, who along with other vaccine-choice advocates is calling on Congress to revamp, and possibly even repeal, this fatally flawed program:

“During its two-decade history, two out of three individuals applying for federal vaccine injury compensation have been turned away empty-handed even though to date $1.8 billion has been awarded to more than 2,200 plaintiffs out of some 12,000 who have applied.”

Meanwhile, close to 5,000 vaccine-injury claims are sitting in limbo because they involve children who suffered brain and immune system dysfunction after vaccination and have been diagnosed with regressive autism.

Well, this is not a “compensable event” according to NVICP, so the children may be out of luck … despite the fact that a study by Harvard professor Michael Ganz found the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism is more than $3 million.

And there are other problems as well.

Safety Provisions are Not Being Enforced

The Act signed into law in 1986, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, contains strong safety provisions, including:

• First-time mandates for doctors to record and report serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths after vaccination
• Mandates that doctors give parents written benefit and risk information before a child is vaccinated

Yet few of the safety provisions are being enforced. As Fisher said:

“There has been a betrayal of the promise that was made to parents about how the compensation program would be implemented.”

Case in point, claims heard by NVICP are supposed to be handled "quickly, easily and with certainty and generosity," according to a House report accompanying the 1986 legislation, but many claims have taken years -- more than 10 years -- to be settled. Fisher continues:

“Obtaining compensation has become a highly adversarial, time-consuming, traumatic and expensive process for families of vaccine-injured children, and far too many vaccine victims have been denied compensation.

Meanwhile, vaccine makers and doctors have enjoyed liability protection and dozens of doses of nine new vaccines have been added to the childhood vaccine schedule.”

If a family is finally able to receive compensation through the program, what can they expect? According to the program’s guidelines:

• The system will offer to pay up to $250,000 for a vaccine-associated death.

• The system will offer to pay for all past and future unreimbursed medical expenses, custodial and nursing home care; up to $250,000 pain and suffering; and loss of earned income.

This is clearly inadequate compensation and clearly far too late.

Further, the system is funded by a surcharge on each dose of vaccine sold. The doctors pay the tax initially when they purchase the vaccines, but this is passed right down to the parents of the child. So not only are the vaccine manufacturers shielded from potential lawsuits, they are not even responsible for paying one cent of the claims filed against them -- the consumers of their products are

Even the lawyers who fight against the families who have filed claims with the system are full-time government attorneys, employed solely for the purpose of battling to defend the vaccine manufacturers. The vaccine makers don’t even have to pay their own legal defense fees!

Such a sweet deal. Try to find any other business that is insulated from the perverted U.S. legal system and you will likely come up with a blank.

Do You Want to Help Support Vaccine Safety Reform?

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), which was co-founded by Barbara Loe Fisher, is the American vaccine safety watchdog. They are currently being flooded with vaccine reaction reports and parents reporting that their vaccine exemptions are being pulled or becoming increasingly difficult to obtain.

I highly recommend you consider supporting the NVIC in their efforts to raise awareness about these vital issues and implement vaccine safety reform.

As I’ve stated before, I’m not anti-vaccine, but rather pro-vaccine safety and choice.

I question vaccines’ compulsory nature along with the very limited recourse parents have if their child is injured. You may also not be aware that if your child is vaccinated according to the CDC's recommended schedule, by the time your child starts kindergarten he or she will have received 48 doses of 14 vaccines. Of these, 36 doses will be given during the first 18 months of life.

Well, public health officials have NEVER proven that it is indeed safe to inject this number and volume of vaccines into infants. And I believe parents have the right to know such information before making a decision on whether or not to vaccinate.

[+] Sources and References

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