Some Say Ruling May Put Childhood Vaccines at Risk

Health care stakeholders say in a friend-of-the-court brief filed in April that a recent Georgia Supreme Court ruling undermines the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act and could ultimately jeopardize access to childhood vaccines.

The October 2008 ruling allows cases alleging injury from childhood vaccines to be tried by juries, American Medical News reports. Health care organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and several other physician and public health organizations fear this ruling will impede vaccine production.

The 1986 law was enacted, the brief said, both to protect injured children and to safeguard the nation’s supply of the vaccines, which have helped eradicate a number of life-threatening infectious diseases.

The federal system requires vaccine manufacturers to provide compensation for proven injuries without assigning any fault.


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