David speaks with Wayne Rohde about “The Vaccine Court”, the title of his 2014 book, and the common name for the pseudo-legal tribunal of the US National Vaccine Injury Program. The Vaccine Court began in October 1988 as a way to transfer responsibility for compensation to the US government, away from pharmaceutical companies. This followed massive compensation award to victims of the DPT vaccine, and also the mid-1970s Swine Flu vaccination program. The Vaccine Court is funded by a small fee attached to each vaccine sold.
Wayne describes many of the problems with the Vaccine Court, including a cap on compensation, the lack of publicity (even though it’s mandated by legislation) and the relatively short time period after vaccination during which a petition can be made. Perhaps the major problem is the gradual removal of conditions from the list of side effects associated with each vaccine, which forces people, often parents, into a more legalistic process, involving lawyers and high costs.
Over the years compensation has become more and more difficult to obtain. This leaves parents, in particular, forced to try to manage the 24-hour care for seriously injured children on their own, worrying about the future of their child when they pass on. Wayne Rohde speaks personally about this, being the father of a vaccine-injured son, who is now 17 years old. They realized that the problem was vaccine induced too late to get compensation, so the costs of daily assistance with their son is borne completely by them.