U.S. government compensated more vaccine injury or death claims for old DTP (diphtheria-tetanus-whole cell pertussis) vaccine than for any other vaccine

Whooping cough cases caused by pertussis have increased in the U.S. in recent years, and articles have urged parents to vaccinate their children against the disease.  However, the articles fail to mention the extent of some of the side effects of the vaccines.

In the last 20 years, the U.S. government compensated vaccine victims for injury or death claims 1,265 times for the old DTP (diphtheria-tetanus-whole cell pertussis) vaccine.  That’s more than four times as many claims compensated than for the vaccine that resulted in the next highest number of claims compensated, the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine (304 claims compensated).

In 1991, the FDA approved acellular pertussis vaccines DTaP (diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis), which are much safer than the old whole cell pertussis vaccines.  The U.S. government only compensated 101 claims for injury or death for the DTaP vaccines, first phased in in 1991 to go along with the DTP vaccine.  Other acellular pertussis vaccines were phased in later in the 1990s.

Vaccineinformation.org states that “Although DTaP vaccine does not cause neurological disorders, receiving the vaccine can cause an already-present underlying condition to show itself.”  This means that if a neurological disorder results from the vaccine, the child’s susceptibility to the disorder is blamed, even if that susceptibility would not have been triggered or manifested without the vaccine. This is a similar argument used in the Hannah Poling case, in which the government conceded that vaccines caused Hannah’s autism, but blamed an underlying mitochondrial disorder.

(As for the autism-vaccines debate, you can read about it in this interview on Examiner.com with the authors of the new Age of Autism book.  Another autism expert blames chemicals.

Essentially, the CDC says the vaccines are safe, except for cases in which infants and children get severe, sometimes permanent reactions, which only happen rarely.  Wording on the CDC website states that the vaccine reactions are worth it to preserve herd immunity.  If the CDC were a person in court, it would likely not be given much credibility because of misleading statements.

Adverse events that can occur that the government compensates victims for after pertussis antigen-containing vaccines (e.g., DTaP, Tdap, DTP, P, DTP-Hib) include:

Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock 1 0-4 hours
B.  Encephalopathy (or encephalitis) 2 0-72 hours
C.  Any acute complication or sequela (including death) of above events 4

A “sequela,” according to Wikipedia, is a pathological condition resulting from a diseaseinjury, or other trauma.  The VICP defines it as “a condition or event which was actually caused by a condition listed in the Vaccine Injury Table.”

Encephalopathy includes seizures and mental or neurological changes.

The following statistics are from the Health Resources and Services Administration Vaccine Injury Compensation Program website.

Vaccines with highest number of claims of injury or death compensated by U.S. government since 1989:

Vaccine(s) Filed Compensated
Injury Death Total

(diphtheria-tetanus-whole cell pertussis)

3,282 696 3,978 1,265
MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) 814 52 866 304
Hepatitis B (Hep B) 555 48 603 171
Influenza (Trivalent) 476 29 505 170
OPV (Oral Polio) 280 27 307 157

(diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis)

291 74 365 101
Pertussis 5 3 8 2
TOTAL 12,468 1,044 13,512 2,529

Note:  “Pertussis,” in italics above listed by itself, only resulted in two claims for injury or death compensated by the government. It is unclear if that means the pertussis vaccine alone is safer than the one combined with other vaccines.

Of the vaccines in the table above, those that contain pertussis also have a much higher percentage of claims filed that involve death than those that involve just injury.

Obviously this isn’t to say don’t vaccinate – it’s just to let people know as much information as possible.  Those who write that vaccines are safe when the government has compensated 2,529 claims for injury or death from vaccines, either are lying or just don’t understand the whole issue.

There are people, by the way, who believe that it is a necessary and acceptable risk for some children to die or be permanently injured so that the vast majority may benefit from vaccines.


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