By Dr. Mercola
Many people are unaware that in 1986 Congress gave the U.S. vaccine industry a shield from product liability that is unlike any other in existence. In most cases, if a pharmaceutical product injures or kills a person, the manufacturer of that product can be held financially accountable in a civil court of law. With vaccines, however, this is not the case.
In the U.S., there is a federally operated vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) that Congress created under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.
The VICP was created 30 years ago as an administrative alternative to a lawsuit when federally licensed vaccines recommended for children cause injury or death. Federal compensation was supposed to be awarded when there was no other biologically plausible explanation for the vaccine-related injury or death, and plaintiffs denied federal compensation or offered too little were supposed to be able to access civil courts.
However, in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively ruled that federally licensed vaccines are "unavoidably unsafe" and completely removed liability from the vaccine industry — even if it could be proven that a manufacturer had the ability to make the vaccine less reactive.
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington handles vaccine injury and death cases contested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Justice in what has become known as "vaccine court." The federal VICP compensates vaccine victims through a federal trust fund that collects a surcharge on every dose of vaccine purchased and administered, which means that vaccine manufacturers pay nothing into the vaccine injury trust fund even though they have no product liability.
To add insult to injury, government agencies and the U.S. Court of Claims deny federal compensation to the majority of vaccine-injured plaintiffs. As noted by the National Vaccine Information Center's Barbara Loe Fisher at the Revolution for Truth Rally earlier this year:
"The $3.6 billion in federal vaccine injury compensation that has been awarded to more than 5,000 vaccine victims since 1988 doesn't begin to pay for the damage done; not when two out of three claims are denied."
A recent ruling by the highest court of the European Union, however, could change the vaccine injury compensation landscape — in Europe, at least — and the ruling has the vaccine industry up in arms over potentially being held financially accountable in European civil courts for illnesses and injuries caused by government recommended and mandated vaccines.
EU Court Rules Circumstantial Evidence Should Be Considered in Vaccine Injury Cases
In many vaccine injury cases, it can be difficult if not impossible to prove cause and effect and directly link a related injury with the vaccine, in part because such injuries may occur days, weeks or months later and also because the quality and quantity of vaccine safety studies is extremely poor. Vaccine companies and government health agencies have refused to conduct methodologically sound research into how and why vaccines cause harm and who is biologically at greater risk for being harmed.
In 2012, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), recently renamed Health and Medicine Division of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), appointed a physician committee to review over 1,000 vaccine studies on eight vaccines routinely administered to children. For more than 100 adverse health outcomes reported following vaccination, IOM was unable to determine whether or not the vaccines caused a commonly reported brain or immune system disorder.1
In short, the quality and quantity of the scientific evidence related to a wide range of brain and immune system disorders was insufficient to make a conclusion about whether or not a vaccine causes those disorders in a previously healthy person or a person biologically susceptible to vaccine harm.
So the IOM committee was unable to confirm or deny causation for most reported poor health outcomes, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, learning disabilities and autism, following receipt of certain vaccines. This does not exonerate vaccines as being safe, but rather highlights the challenges faced when a person attempts to prove a causative link between a vaccine they've received and a related illness or injury.
It makes common sense that the circumstances surrounding a vaccine-related illness — such as how soon reaction symptoms began following vaccine administration, or whether the person had suffered a previous vaccine reaction or was sick at the time of vaccination and so on — would be essential pieces of evidence to consider in determining probable cause. However, few civil courts have taken this kind of clinical and circumstantial evidence seriously in vaccine injury lawsuits.
This was the case with a man living in France, whose vaccine injury case is still ongoing. The man developed multiple sclerosis after receiving three doses of hepatitis B vaccine, and he and his family believe the debilitating chronic disease was caused by the vaccination. Much of the case was based on circumstantial evidence including the timing of the onset of disease in relation to vaccination.
A lower French court ruled that the hepatitis B vaccination was the probable cause of the man's multiple sclerosis, but that lower court decision was subsequently overturned because of a lack of scientific consensus that hepatitis B vaccine causes multiple sclerosis. Eventually, the courts needed to decide what types of evidence were admissible in the case, which brought it before the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the highest court of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).2
EU Court Ruling May Hold More Vaccine Makers Accountable
The ECJ ruled that "serious, specific and consistent" circumstantial evidence may be considered in vaccine injury cases, prompting a barrage of criticism from the pharmaceutical industry, doctors, public health officials and the media that it would "open the floodgates" for frivolous vaccine injury lawsuits. In Nature magazine, however, Alex Stein, a law expert at the Brooklyn Law School in New York says this is not the case:3
"The court emphasized that liability claims for vaccine harm must be considered on a case-by-case basis. It also ruled that the burden of proof remained on plaintiffs (the man's family, in this case) and that courts must consider relevant evidence from medical research.
These caveats are important, says … Stein … 'Under this framework, credible medical evidence showing that the vaccine is safe will win the case,' he says. 'Those who say that the ECJ decision has opened a floodgate for multiple vaccine liability suits are therefore mistaken.'"
Stein continued that the ruling may, in fact, allow for justice to be fairly served, noting, "If courts were to use scientific methods of proof in all cases in which they must determine disputed facts, they would hardly be able to make decisions and to deliver timely justice to people. Justice is generally best served when courts are free to admit whatever relevant evidence they wish and judge it on its own merits along with the rest."4
Indeed, the EU ruling will allow for important and pertinent evidence to be considered in vaccine injury cases to conclude "the administering of the vaccine is the most plausible explanation," including the following:5
• The time between a vaccine's administration and the onset of a disease
• An individual's previous state of health
• A lack of any family history of the disease
• A significant number of reported cases of the disease occurring following vaccination
Flu Vaccine Falsely Advertised as Good Match Completely Useless for Seniors
It's incredibly important for vaccine makers to be held accountable for dangerous or ineffective products in civil court. As we continue to see, there are more questions than answers when it comes to vaccine safety and repercussions to human immunity and overall health. The case of federally recommended annual flu shots is one such example in which reactive and often ineffective vaccines continue to be foisted on a vulnerable population, in this case the elderly.
As recently as February 2017, U.S health officials boasted that this season's influenza vaccine was a "good match," even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) described the vaccine as having a 48 percent effectiveness rate, which means the vaccine was effective in preventing disease only 48 percent of the time.
For the past decade, the seasonal influenza vaccine's effectiveness has been only 50 percent to 60 percent effective.6 The news that this year's influenza vaccine was a "good match" probably prompted more seniors to get one of the 145 million doses of flu vaccine shipped to doctors' offices and public health clinics.7
By June 2017, however, the CDC's tune had changed. The vaccine actually did a poor job of protecting the elderly, with a low 42 percent effectiveness rate overall in preventing illness severe enough to cause someone to visit a doctor. Meanwhile, among the 65 and over crowd — who are at higher risk for influenza complications — as well as those aged 18 to 49, the flu shot "had no clear effect."8 In other words, it was useless.
Every vaccine carries a risk of injury or death that can be greater for some people, and the potential risk of suffering flu vaccine complications that result in a permanent disability such as paralysis from Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a risk you need to take into account each time you get a flu shot. While death and complete disability from influenza vaccine complications may be rare, severe complications and death from seasonal influenza itself are also relatively rare, especially for individuals with healthy immune systems.
So it is wise to weigh the risk of suffering a debilitating side effect from a flu shot relative to the more likely potential of spending a week in bed recovering from a bout with influenza. Most of the deaths attributed to influenza are actually due to complications leading to bacterial pneumonia and, unlike in past centuries, bacterial pneumonia today can be effectively treated with advanced medical care.
More Polio Spread by Vaccine
Another issue often disregarded in discussions of vaccine safety is the spread of vaccine-strain virus infections, including polio. Wild type polio was declared eradicated in the US in 1979 and in the western hemisphere in 1994.9 But despite widespread annual polio vaccine campaigns targeting children in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the wild type poliovirus is still circulating.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative slated 2018 as the year polio would be eradicated from the Earth, but the virus is proving to be harder to outwit than officials would have you believe. Not only are strains of wild poliovirus still circulating in the world, but mutated vaccine-strain polio viruses also circulate. A large part of the problem is the polio vaccine itself, specifically the live oral polio vaccine (OPV).
In 2017, there have been 21 reported cases of vaccine-derived polio, compared to six cases of wild polio — marking the first time more cases of polio have been caused by vaccine-derived strains than wild or naturally occurring strains. In Syria alone, 15 children have been paralyzed by vaccine-derived polio, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).10 Research published in the journal Cell also revealed that the live virus used in the oral polio vaccine can easily mutate and spread through a community.11 NPR reported:12
"After a child is vaccinated with live polio virus, the virus replicates inside the child's intestine and eventually is excreted. In places with poor sanitation, fecal matter can enter the drinking water supply and the virus is able to start spreading from person to person.
'We discovered there's only a few [mutations] that have to happen and they happen rather quickly in the first month or two post-vaccination," [lead study author Raul] Andino says. 'As the virus starts circulating in the community, it acquires further mutations that make it basically indistinguishable from the wild-type virus. It's polio in terms of virulence and in terms of how the virus spreads.'"
While news that the oral polio vaccine is causing vaccine-strain polio cases may be surprising to you, it is not surprising at all to WHO, whose director of polio eradication Michel Zaffran called the vaccine-derived virus outbreaks an expected "hiccup." He told NPR:13
"We knew that we were going to have such outbreaks. We've had them in the past. We continue to have them now. We know how to find them, and we know how to interrupt them … So it's hiccup ... a very regrettable hiccup for the poor children that have been paralyzed, of course. But with regards to the whole initiative, you know it's not something that is unexpected."
Into the Darkness: Most Medical Science Is Fake
Adding to the complexity surrounding the medical decisions you make for yourself and your children is the fact that much scientific research is manipulated or fraudulent. Former New England Journal of Medicine editor-in-chief Dr. Marcia Angell has stated, "It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical researchthat is published."14
In the video above, investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson interviews Angell on the topic of "fake science." Angell says, "… [P]hysicians and the public have come to believe that drugs are much better and much safer than they really are."15 If you can't trust the scientific data, neither can your physician, but most people make health care decisions based on their physician's likely misguided advice.
In the case of vaccines, for example, many are not aware that the U.S. childhood vaccination schedule is based on convenience, not on safety. While your physician may tell you that giving your child multiple vaccines simultaneously is safe, think about this logically. According to Neil Z. Miller, a medical research journalist and director of the Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute:
"The CDC's immunization schedule requires that children receive eight vaccines at 2 months of age, eight vaccines at 4 months of age and eight vaccines at 6 months of age. I ask parents, 'When did you ever take eight drugs at the same time?
… If you did take eight drugs at the same time, would you think it was more likely that you would or would not have an adverse reaction?' Because toxicologists know that the more drugs you take at the same time, the more potential for some kind of a synergistic or additive toxicity …
The CDC has put together a schedule based on convenience. They say '[G]ive eight vaccines at 2 months, give eight more vaccines at 4 months and give eight more booster shots at 6 months' because it's convenient. They're afraid that parents will not come to the pediatrician again and again and again if they have to keep coming back for more vaccines, so they get multiple [shots all at once].
They said, 'We're going to make this schedule based on convenience.' Not based on evidence. Not based on science. There's nothing scientific about the CDC's recommended immunization schedule."
It's therefore crucially important to consider multiple sources of vaccine information and use reason, intuition and common sense when making an educated decision about vaccination. Only when you have all the facts, including those from unbiased, independent sources, and think critically can you make a truly informed decision for yourself or your child that will protect your health.