Parents receive $2bn compensation pay-outs

Vaccine manufacturers have paid out nearly $2bn in damages to parents in America whose children were harmed by one of the childhood jabs such as the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) or DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus). 

In all, around 2,000 families have received compensation payments that have averaged $850,000 each.  There are a further 700 claims that are going through the pipeline.

None of the claims is for autism as medical researchers say they have failed to find a link between the disease and the MMR vaccine, despite the initial findings made by Dr Andrew Wakefield.  Instead they are for a wide spectrum of physical and mental conditions that are likely to have been caused by one of the vaccinations.

Around 7,000 parents have filed a claim of an adverse reaction with America’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).  To win an award, the claimant must prove a causal link to a vaccine.  As the medical establishment has refused to recognise any link to autism, the VICP has so far rejected 300 claims for this outright.

(Source:  New England Journal of Medicine, 2007; 357: 1275-9).

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