The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
Myth: The government has admitted that vaccines cause horrible adverse effects (like autism, multiple sclerosis, and more) because awards have been given out in federal Vaccine Injury Court…therefore vaccines are proven unsafe.
Truth: The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was started after a series of lawsuits in the 70s and 80s involving pertussis vaccine. The vaccine manufacturers decided it was too expensive to defend against these frivolous claims, and the government saw this as a national security problem when they stopped making vaccines. As a result, congress initiated the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, where a federal court was designed for those who have real side effects from vaccines. It is run by judges and there is no jury, and usually expenses are covered for plaintiffs. Expert witnesses do not need to prove they are experts, and it is funded by a tax we pay on every dose of vaccines. Plaintiffs must show that the vaccine administration is chronologically related to the injury and must propose a “plausible” mechanism by which the vaccine caused the injury. Since the burden of proof is very low, many awards are given for cases where the vaccines had nothing to do with the injury.
What about the Hannah Poling case?
In the well-known Hannah Poling case, a healthy 19 month old baby received her usual vaccinations. She eventually developed some classic signs of autism months after. She was ultimately diagnosed with mitochondrial enzyme deficiency, which had resulted in encephalopathy and directly caused her symptoms. After multiple arguments, the court awarded her with compensation. Her family went to the press adamant that her vaccines caused her disease. In this video, I explain why this is exactly the wrong conclusion to draw from this case.
ZPac, send this video to your friends, family members, those with a new child, or those that are on the fence about vaccines. Check out the original video on Facebook where you can leave your comments and share!
– Okay guys, today I wanna talk about a thing that comes up many times when people are considering vaccines. And people are very nervous, and new mothers in particular worry, “Am I doing the right thing giving them “these series of injections?” And the problem is there’s so much in the media, celebrities, people on Facebook telling you don’t do it, and a lot of times, they will tell you, “Well there’s this vaccine injury court “where so many awards have been given out, “and the government pretty much admits “that vaccine caused these horrible side effects, “and so you shouldn’t do it because this thing exists.” Now that’s what I wanna talk about today. I wanna talk about how would you understand that in terms of where this came from, and does it matter to your decision about vaccines. It does, but not in the way you think. So, this is how the vaccine court started. It’s actually called the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, and in the ’70s and ’80s, it went like this. Many people were suing pharmaceutical manufacturers of pertussis vaccine for perceived side effects of the vaccine which weren’t real. So the vaccine didn’t cause all these things like Reye’s syndrome, and SIDS, and all this stuff, but people were going to civil court, and creating enough legal fees and drama that the vaccine manufacturers felt like, this is not worth our time anymore, it’s so expensive just to defend against these frivolous claims. So from a bunch of people making the vaccine it went down to one manufacturer. The government rightly saw this as it’s a national security problem, because if we can’t protect our children from preventable illnesses, the Soviets are gonna win, ’cause they do this, right? Most civilized countries do. And so as a result, they put into play the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in 1986. It said this. Instead of trying vaccine injury cases in public civil courts, we’ll do it in a federal court that’s specially designed to streamline the process. That means people who have real side effects from vaccines, you know, oral polio vaccine used to be able to actually cause rare cases of paralysis. Very rare, but if that happened to you, you’d wanna be compensated quickly and efficiently without having to spend a ton on legal fees. So, this court was placed as a kind of release valve where that could happen quickly, and the way they set it up was like this. It’s run by judges, there’s no jury, doctors aren’t directly involved in making these decisions, they could be expert witnesses. And based on a 75 cent excise tax on every vaccine, that’s how we fund it, the court will actually provide lawyers and expert witnesses to patients who wanna make their case, assuming certain requirements have been met. Now the burden for proof in this court is actually lower than in outside. All you have to do to make your case is show, first of all, that there’s a biological plausible reason for why a vaccine might’ve caused injury in your child. So, there’s millions of ways you can spin that, right? And if it’s legitimate, then there it is, but if it’s not, you can also come up with lots of hand waving reasons. The second thing is you have to show that the vaccine was, sort of time-wise, related to the injury. So there’s a cause and effect that you can kind of show, well it happened here, and therefore the vaccine was before the injury. Well that’s one thing you have to show, and then you can bring expert witnesses who don’t have to prove they’re experts. So the bar is quite low for proving stuff, and they did that on purpose ’cause they wanted to make it quick and easy, and especially take care of people who in a society where we sort of mandate vaccines, ’cause we want that community immunity of everybody. They wanted to make it easy that if you were injured, we will take care of you and you won’t have to go through the public courts. Now, the side effect of this is that the scientific rigor of this court kind of degraded over the years, because the burden of proof was so relatively small, and more and more awards started to be handed out for injuries that weren’t necessarily related to vaccines at all. The seminal case of this is a case called Hannah Poling. Now this really really tragic case of a young girl, she was 19 months old, got her usual vaccinations, MMR, pertussis, polio, et cetera, varicella. Got those, two days later, had what many people have when they get vaccines, had a fever and a little irritability, got better from that, then had a rash on her body several days later that looked like the kind of rash that you get from the varicella vaccine, where you can get a kind of a vague, attenuated chicken pox. She got better from that, months went by. She went from being verbal, like everything for all intents and purposes like a normal child, to being unable to speak properly, and displaying all the classic signs of what could be bundled into a diagnosis of autism. Well turns out, she was then diagnosed, and this is tragic for any parent, so you could imagine you would want a court where a parent could figure out what’s, at least if the vaccine was related. So, the parents went to court saying it was the vaccine that caused this. Well it turns out should was diagnosed with mitochondrial enzyme deficiency, and resulting encephalopathy. Encephalopathy is swelling and dysfunction of the brain. It’s dysfunction of the brain. And as a result, that was related to all her problems with speech, and behavior, et cetera. The family felt it was the vaccines that caused that. And the court, ultimately after arguments, awarded her an award saying yes, it could be that the vaccine was at fault. Now, Hannah Poling’s family then went to the press and said this is a great example of why you shouldn’t, that vaccines aren’t safe. They caused autism in our poor child, and now she’s gonna suffer for the rest of her life. And yes we were compensated, and you should be too, and so on. Now, nobody can fault them for feeling like they needed a reason for what happened to their daughter, but when you actually unpack what happened, you realize, first of all, this is the worst possible argument the anti-vaccine movement can make for vaccine causing autism, and the government did not endorse that vaccines cause autism. Here’s what actually happened. Hannah Poling who had this mitochondrial enzyme deficiency, had her vaccinations. The plaintiff’s lawyer said, “Well, these vaccinations caused inflammation “and triggered an infection that then triggered “her mitochondrial enzyme disease to cause encephalopathy.” Well it’s true that infections can cause encephalopathy in people with this disease, however it has never been shown that vaccines trigger it. And in fact, if you don’t vaccinate your child, you’re more likely to get those infections that are preventable that could trigger the encephalopathy, and when you look at Hannah’s case, she got multiple episodes of ear infections requiring tubes, over the same period of time. So who’s to say that that’s not what triggered the inflammation, or it could’ve been something completely unrelated, so that argument holds no water. But again, the lowered standards of the vaccine court, right? The second thing is they were saying, “Well now children are injected “with so many antigens at once, “so she got multiple vaccines, and it overwhelmed “her immune system and triggered “this mitochondrial disease to flare, “and the encephalopathy and permanent injury.” Well, think of it this way. 100 years ago, there was only one vaccine. It was called smallpox. It contained 200 antigens that were injected. We’ve gotten so good at making vaccines now, and by the way, no autism epidemic, no people outraged, right? Just lives saved. Currently, we’ve gotten so good at making vaccines that we have multiple vaccines that prevent multiple illnesses, the collective number of antigens injected in our new vaccines which are more efficient, 150. So there’s actually less antigens injected than with the smallpox vaccine of old. Okay, so that argument doesn’t really hold water. It feels emotionally right, but it’s scientifically wrong, and often our intuitions are wrong about science, but we have the respect and understand them and discuss it. And the third thing is that again, this idea that there’s no other biological, plausible explanation for why she got this. There is, she had a mitochondrial enzyme deficiency. And so the case of Hannah Poling, as tragic as it is, and as much as we would never wish this sort of thing on the children of our worst enemy, it is not an example, along with the vaccine court, of why we shouldn’t vaccinate. It’s in fact, even more of an example of why we should. If we can prevent infection, if we can prevent a challenge to our immune system from real diseases out in the world, we might prevent other complications that could be life-threatening or life-changing. So in summary, it feels really good to say, you know what, there’s this vaccine injury court where the federal government basically admits that vaccines cause all these horrible things, the truth, as you see, is a lot different. We need the vaccine court to deal with real adverse events, and to make sure that we have vaccine manufacturers that are willing to take the risk. It’s not very profitable to make vaccines. To take the risk to keep us all safe. So, why did we make this video? It’s not to convince anti-vaxxers to change their ways, because they’re not gonna change their ways. They’re entrenched, something happened to them, and they are not gonna change. It’s to send to your friend, or your loved one, or your family member, who’s on the fence, who maybe has a new child, who’s scared, and is hearing all this stuff on the internet, and we wanna cut through that. Look, I went to a lot of medical school, I practiced for 10 years. It doesn’t mean I’m right, but it means that I’ve done this for a long time. I have vaccinated both of my children, and will continue to do so, and I would never tell my patients something that I wouldn’t do for my own children. So with that, I want you to share this with someone you care about, and we out.