Vaccines. Are They Safe? Are They Effective?

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Also, this isn't Jenner's time: while lay people like you and I may not understand completely how vaccines work, experts do. They don't know the answer to every question, but they know a lot about how vaccines work, how effective they are and how safe. It's this improved knowledge that allowed vaccines to be made against more diseases than in the past and allowed vaccines to be more refined than in the past, using, for example, single proteins instead of whole bacteria.

Dorit Reiss more than 1 year ago


“Vaccines Are Unavoidably Unsafe”
Don’t take my word for it. These are the words of Justice Scalia in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, LLC in a Supreme Court decision in 2011. Unfortunately, due to the protections afforded the vaccine maker in the National Childhood Vaccine Act of 1986, the Court ruled against a vaccine injured plaintiff in the case. How?

In the 1980s, children were having adverse reactions to the DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine. Lots of lawsuits were being filed against docs and vaccine manufacturers. This caused the pharmaceutical industry to threaten pulling out of the vaccine market, and the alarm bells rang that the nation’s health and safety were at risk. Why were vaccine manufacturers getting ready to take their ball and go home? Because vaccines fall into a class of products considered “unavoidably unsafe.” I am not kidding you. This “unavoidable” word comes from the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act itself “products which, in the present state of human knowledge, are quite incapable of being made safe.”

In 1986, Congress decided on a way to compensate folks for these avoidable injuries and death. It is called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. From 2001 until 2011 the program has compensated about 2500 families a total of $2 billion. There has been close to $4 billion paid to date since inception. But, that represents only a small fraction of those who actually brought claims to the Vaccine Court. You see, there is a 36 month window to bring the claim. There is no “tolling” granted for minors, unlike all the Civil Courts in the U.S. Guess what? Neurological injuries may not present in infants for long after 36 months. Furthermore, who knows how many cases were never brought by attorneys on behalf of a vaccine injured child, because the statute of limitations ran out?

Don’t let anyone tell you that vaccines don’t cause injury. They have, they do and they will do so in the future. For years, Thimerosal was used as a preservative in multi-dose vials. While still proclaiming it “safe”, vaccine makers “voluntarily” removed Thimerosal. It is still present in trace amounts and in flu vaccine. Thimerosal was never approved by the FDA, as the patents predated the establishment of said regulations. Worried?

With nearly 6,000 cases pending the USCFC held the “Omnibus Autism Hearings.” They decided not to make “autism” a “table injury.” How convenient. Since there would never be enough money to pay for all who claim an “autism” injury. But, there have been many cases compensated for “encephalopathy” as a diagnosis with reference to autism. You can read it:

For the record, I am not “anti-vaccine.” Both of my children were fully vaccinated. Unfortunately for us, our son was neurologically disabled by vaccines. It is indisputable, yet the government and the vaccine makers still think that there is a “greater good” to be served.

Mark Wax more than 1 year ago

Wrong on safe and effective

We actually do have compelling data showing vaccines are safe and effective. That includes data showing rate of infection is much lower in the vaccinated than those that are not - vaccines do prevent disease, and data from titer rates - in addition to drop in disease. It's not a correlation only.
As to other diseases - plague is transmitted by fleas. Controlling fleas help (and it's still around). Other diseases don't fit that pattern. As to the 1918 flu - it killed 50-100 million people. Then most were immune. That's a good result?

As to NVICP - you may be defining safe different than me. Nothing is 100% safe. Safe means problems are rare. NVICP has a compensation rate of less than 1 per million. That's very safe.

Scientific studies - which are better data - also show serious harms are very rare. Here's a review. Margaret A. Maglione, et al., Safety of Vaccines Used for Routine Immunization of US Children: A Systematic Review, 134 PEDIATRICS 1(2014).

Yes, vaccines are safe and effective. Your article is mistaken.

Dorit Reiss more than 1 year ago

Irresponsible article

A case via the NVICP carries a very low standard of proof. The program was set up to enable those with genuine vaccines injuries (yes they do happen, but are very rare) to obtain compensation without lengthy, costly litigation. NVICP payouts are therefore not in and of themselves evidence of causation. This article is highly irresponsible, making a number of sweeping claims about vaccines without reference to a scientific study.

Liz more than 1 year ago