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Back to the Future: Shalala Takes Away Compensation for DPT Injured Children

Posted: 8/14/2017 2:28:52 PM | with 0 comments

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 was established after years of negotiations as a non-adversarial alternative to lawsuits against drug companies and physicians for vaccine injury and death. The law set up a compensation program funded by surcharges on each vaccine given. Within the first seven years, more than 500 million dollars were awarded to victims of vaccines, most of whom were injured or killed by the whole cell pertussis vaccine in the DPT shot. 

Unhappy that so many awards were being given for DPT injuries and deaths, and because each award was an acknowledgement that the vaccine can kill and injure, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala and officials at the CDC and attorneys in the U.S. Department of Justice actively worked to defy the law and will of Congress by taking actions to substantially weaken the compensation and safety provisions.

In February 1995, Shalala published final rules in the Federal Register that made it impossible for most children injured or killed by DPT vaccine to receive compensation under the no-fault federal vaccine injury compensation program. Beginning in March 1995, only anaphylaxis occurring within four hours and encephalopathy/encephalitis occurring within 72 hours of a DPT vaccination (or resulting in hospitalization) would be presumed to be associated with DPT vaccination. As one lawyer who represented vaccine injured children in the US Court of Claims commented, “Nobody will ever quality.” 

After March 1995, a child who suffered classic pertussis vaccine reaction symptom such as high pitched screaming, collapse/shock, bulging fontanelle, or seizures within 72 hours of a DPT vaccination, and who sustained permanent neurological damage (including residual seizure disorder), would no longer be presumed to have suffered a vaccine injury in order to be eligible for “no fault” compensation in the federal program. This meant that attorneys representing children suffering those DPT vaccine reaction symptoms followed by permanent injury or death would have to prove causation in the U.S. Court of Claims whenever the Secretary of Health and the Justice Department refused to award compensation.

Commenting on Shalala’s move to make it nearly impossible for DPT vaccine injured children to receive federal compensation, NVIC Director Kathi Williams stated, “America no longer has a vaccine injury compensation program.”

The Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV) requested that Shalala indefinitely postpone the effective date of the new rule that removed seizure disorders from the vaccine injury table for DPT and changed the definition of encephalopathy, but the Secretary Shalala refused. In her zeal to cover up DPT vaccine injuries by denying federal compensation, Secretary Shalala took the case of Maggie Whitecotton, who had been left severely brain injured after a DPT vaccine reaction as an infant, all the way to the U.S. Supreme court in an effort to take away vaccine injury compensation Maggie had been awarded in the U.S. Court of Claims. 

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Posted: 8/14/2017 2:28:52 PM | with 0 comments


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