Intended for healthcare professionals


US data on vaccine injury pay-outs show strong immunisation safety record

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 19 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4294
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Only 6600 people have been compensated for vaccine injuries in 31 years of the US National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, says a New York Times review that suggests that immunisation in the United States has been far safer in recent years than is widely believed.1

The review was triggered by a congressman’s question to Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, in a letter that accused the social media company of suppressing free speech by vaccine sceptics.2

“If vaccines do not cause injuries, why has the vaccine injury trust fund paid out $4 061 322 557.08 [£3.23bn; €3.63bn] for vaccine injuries?” asked Bill Posey, a Florida Republican.

But the newspaper’s review of the compensation programme’s data found that even unproven claims of death or injury from vaccination were extraordinarily rare, amounting to only about two claims in each million vaccine doses in recent years.

This is despite a national compensation …

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