So you likely know that there were a bunch of lawsuits against manufacturers of the DPT vaccine in the early and mid 1980s.
“As the number of lawsuits grew to hundreds during the early 1980s, the pharmaceutical companies making vaccines saw their liability insurance bills soar. Worried not only about multimillion-dollar settlements, but also even the legal costs of defending themselves successfully, several companies simply stopped making vaccine.”How a Media Scare On Vaccine Started a ‘near-Epidemic’
That’s why the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Act passed in 1986, creating the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and the Vaccine Court.
About Those Lawsuits That Almost Put Vaccine Manufacturers out of Business
But did those DPT vaccine lawsuits prove that vaccines aren’t safe?
Is that why vaccine manufacturers needed help to limit their liability?
“The total amount claimed in 1984 DTP vaccine suits ($1.3 billion) is more than 20 times the total value of 1984 sales of DTP vaccine at the market price of $2.80 per dose.”Hinman on DTP Vaccine Litigation
Of course not!
While the older DPT vaccine did cause more local reactions, pain, and fever than the newer DTaP vaccine that replaced it, all of the serious reactions that triggered the lawsuits were later found to not be caused by the vaccine.
That’s not surprising, as the same vaccine lawsuits that were succeeding in driving vaccine manufacturers out of business in the United States were failing in the UK and Canada!
This included the Loveday judgment in Great Britain’s High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division and the Rothwell judgment in the Supreme Court of Ontario, Canada, both decided in 1988, with justices ruling that there was “insufficient evidence to demonstrate that pertussis vaccine can cause permanent brain damage in children.”
Similar cases were succeeding in the US though..
“The number (and dollar value) of suits increased in 1982, a year when broadcast and print media began to devote considerable attention to the alleged hazards associated with the use of pertussis-containing vaccines. Most of the media coverage has emphasized alleged risks of pertussis vaccines and has given relatively little attention to the benefits of their use.”Hinman on DTP Vaccine Litigation
Most experts knew that most of the lawsuits were frivolous, but they weren’t able to stop the damage that was to come, as:
- the DPT: Vaccine Roulette special aired on TV
- Barbara Loe Fisher, believing that her child was damaged by the DPT vaccine, formed the Dissatisfied Parents Together organization and wrote the book DPT: A Shot in the Dark, which later influenced Bob Sears
- there were temporary shortages of DTP vaccine in 1984, as “two of the three American manufacturers of the product decided to halt or restrict its sales.”
What else happened? I mean besides all of the studies proving the DPT vaccine was safe?
Parents who had been scared by the DPT controversy were ready and primed when Andy Wakefield showed up and told them that they had something new to worry about – the MMR vaccine and autism.
And of course, pertussis is now returning, as more parents are scared to vaccinate their kids and the newer DTaP vaccine isn’t as effective as DPT.
More on Those Lawsuits That Almost Put Vaccine Manufacturers out of Business
- VAXOPEDIA – A Shot at the Dark – DPT vs DTaP
- VAXOPEDIA – Can Parents Still Sue Vaccine Manufacturers?
- DTP: did pertussis vaccine cause brain damage?
- How a Media Scare On Vaccine Started a `near-Epidemic`
- Shots in the Dark
- Study – DTP vaccine litigation.
- Study – The pertussis vaccine controversy in Great Britain, 1974-1986.
- Study – Lessons from the pertussis vaccine court trial
- Study – Permanent brain damage and pertussis vaccination: is the end of the saga in sight?
- Study – The NCES reconsidered: summary of a 1989 workshop. National Childhood Encephalopathy Study.
- Study – Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine and serious neurologic illness: an updated review of the epidemiologic evidence.
- Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines
- A Shot in the Dark Revisited
- Shortage of Whooping Cough Vaccine is Seen
- At risk: vaccines – How a legal case could cripple one of modern medicine’s greatest achievements
- Vaccine Injury Compensation Programs | History of Vaccines
- The whole cell pertussis vaccine, media malpractice, and the long-term effects of avoiding difficult conversations
- Alleged Cases of Vaccine Encephalopathy Rediagnosed Years as Dravet Syndrome
- Vaccination controversy swirls around O.C.’s ‘Dr. Bob’