Compensating Children With Vaccine-Related Injuries
Iglehart, John K.
New England Journal of Medicine. 1987 May 14; 316(20): 1283-1288.
Iglehart reports on federal legislation to compensate children injured by vaccines and on the issues behind Congress's five-year attempt to design and fund a compensation package. A small number of the approximately 3.8 million children immunized each year are damaged permanently from reactions to the vaccines. The tort system has proved unsatisfactory to parents, health personnel, and drug manufacturers as a means of compensating these children and their families. Increasing costs of insurance and litigation have caused some drug companies to stop producing vaccines altogether, with possibly detrimental consequences for the entire immunization program. Although Congress created a no-fault scheme in 1986 for compensating those injured by vaccines, it has failed to date to resolve the controversial issue of funding. Iglehart concludes that it may be years before the program is implemented and its effectiveness is evaluated. (KIE abstract)
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