If you’re not familiar with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, this is the bill in its entirety. To sum up, there were many DPT vaccine injury cases being brought against the vaccine manufacturers who then were in the midst of paying out multi-million-dollar settlements. These types of payouts were not something that could be sustained, and they stated that if they had to continue paying out money for injuries, then they could no longer manufacture vaccines. This created a panic because lawmakers feared that this would surely result in a pandemic so this bill was drafted under the guise of creating a wonderful, speedy compensation program that would help the vaccine injured and their families but in reality would create a workaround to relieve manufacturers of the financial burden of liability. There was pressure from all directions put on the president to sign the bill into effect with the threat of vaccines being taken off the market. Here is an LA Times article from just before the bill was passed to give you an idea of the climate surrounding this issue.
The thing most people don’t realize is that this was an omnibus bill meaning that it had several components to it in addition to the VICP including: allowing pharmaceutical drugs to be transported to other countries even if not approved in the U.S. first, addressing medical and psychiatric care, housing, and employment for those with chronic mental illness, physicians being able to take disciplinary action against other physicians, and a national commission to reduce infant mortality. To repeal the law would repeal all these components as well.
We must realize that they unintentionally did us a favor in a way. By putting this all into writing, they acknowledged that vaccine injury HAPPENS. They state clearly that vaccines can and do injure and kill. That’s so rare to hear now. If it happened then with only polio, DTP, and MMR, it could certainly happen now with the ever-growing vaccine schedule we have. So here we have undeniable proof that not only does it happen, but that these children need to be protected and taken care of.
Vaccine injured children are already invisible in today’s society but without this law, they would be even more so. They could then be completely swept under the rug because the obligation to compensate would be gone. Undoubtedly, there would be a bill right behind it to take its place without that acknowledgement, compensation fund, or reporting system and leave us worse off than we started.
This is all in addition to the fact that we would completely lose VAERS and the entire database of vaccine injury reports that it contains.
Rather, we should call for vaccine manufacturers to be held liable again by AMENDING this law as well as keeping and completely overhauling the compensation program to actually benefit the vaccine injured and their families, and greatly improving upon VAERS to be a mandatory reporting system, training all healthcare professionals on its function and how to recognize and report vaccine injury. Don't get me wrong, we are in agreement that this law created many problems but repealing it could make a far worse impact.