Many are not aware that in the US there is a federally operated vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) that Congress created under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The US Court of Federal Claims in Washington DC handles contested vaccine injury and death cases in what has become known as “vaccine court”.
The VICP is a “no-fault” alternative to the traditional civil court lawsuit and was established in 1986 after a string of high-profile lawsuits had slammed vaccine manufacturers.
At the time, parents were suing vaccine manufacturers after their children were brain injured or died following federally recommended and state mandated DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus vaccine). There were several DPT injury lawsuits against the vaccine makers in the 1970’s and early 1980’s that resulted in multimillion dollar jury verdicts.
At that point the vaccine manufacturers threatened to stop producing DPT, MMR, and oral polio (the only childhood vaccines at the time) if the civil litigation continued. Rather than raising safety standards and compelling vaccine manufacturers to ensure they are producing the least toxic vaccines – Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, and shielded the vaccine makers from most civil liability related to their products.1
The American Public – Not the Vaccine Makers – Pay the Costs of Compensation
The federal VICP compensates vaccine victims not from a fund paid into by vaccine manufacturers, but through a federal trust fund that collects a 75-cent surcharge on every vaccine given (the combination MMR vaccine, for example, has a $2.25 fee tacked on to it because that shot contains three vaccines). So not only are drug companies making big profits from selling mandated vaccines to government and vaccine producers, they are also held legally blameless for both vaccine injuries and deaths and don’t have to pay a cent to those injured by their vaccines.
The VICP contains a Vaccine Injury Table that lists vaccine side effects that are known to be caused by vaccines. In order to win uncontested federal compensation for a vaccine injury, a person must prove he or she developed certain clinical symptoms and medical conditions on the Table within a certain time frame of receiving a certain vaccine, and that there is no more biologically plausible explanation for the vaccine-related injury or death.
If a clinical symptom and medical condition is not on the Vaccine Injury Table – or developed outside of the accepted timeframe, the vaccine injury claim is contested by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the US Department of Justice and is adjudicated in the US Court of Federal Claims (“vaccine court”). In Vaccine Court, the vaccine injured plaintiff must prove, usually via medical records and statements from a medical expert, that the vaccine could have caused the injury.
NPR detailed the story of Lisa Smith, a woman who was healthy until she received a flu shot and, a few days later, realized she couldn’t walk and had developed severe pain in her legs.2
Lisa had developed Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune disease of the nervous system. GBS is in the process of being added to the official Vaccine Injury Table. She only learned of the VICP after a friend told her about it. She filed a VICP claim and was awarded a settlement of an undisclosed amount.
Many People Are Not Aware of Vaccine Court
In 2014, there were 542 vaccine injury compensation claims filed in the VICP. Of the claims, 365 were compensated for a total of $202 million, with settlements ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.3
What you’ll notice is that very few of these claims are publicized or disclosed to the public in any way. It is obvious that the government does not want to publicize the existence of the VICP because the more Americans learn that there are vaccine injuries and deaths – those that have been vetted and compensated in a court of law – the more they may start to question the safety and of vaccines.
There is a government VICP website, which is run by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
It maintains vaccine injury claim statistics that have historically been updated monthly – until the government mysteriously removed more than a years worth of data earlier this year…