The National Vaccine Injury Compensation program was legislated in the US in 1986 (other countries have created similar programs). I think it's fair to say that United States public health policy influences public health policy on a global scale, and though Canada did not end up creating a vaccine compensation program for its citizens, Canadians were still affected by this American legislation. In 1986, once vaccine manufacturers were immune from lawsuit in the US, vaccines became an extremely profitable product for pharmaceutical companies.
The Government recommends (or requires) vaccination, meaning that vaccine makers have a guaranteed market. In the US, approximately 4 million babies are born each year. Because vaccines are used as a part of public health strategy, there is no advertising expense for vaccines (for those vaccines on the childhood schedule). Also, because vaccines are classified as a public health drug, they are not required to go through the long term rigorous, randomized, double blind, placebo controlled safety trials, like is required for pharmaceutical drugs. Of course rigorous, long term clinical trials are considerably more expensive to conduct, compared to fast tracked more simplified clinical testing. And of course, financial risk via product liability and lawsuits, that expense was eliminated completely in the US. As a result, the vaccine profit margin grew astronomically as a result of the 1986 legislation, and subsequently pharma began creating more and more vaccines.
After the creation of each new vaccine, vaccine makers then approached the CDC to have each new vaccine added to the childhood vaccination schedule. This is because it is only those vaccines on the childhood schedule, whether administered to a child or adult, that have immunity from lawsuits in the US. The CDC complied. Since 1986, the number of vaccines recommended for American children has increased drastically. Before the 1986 legislation, American children were given 24 doses of 7 vaccines from birth to 18 years of age. Today, American infants get more than that, receiving 26 doses (of 7 vaccines) in their first 6 months of life. Looking at the schedule today, from birth to 18 years of age, American children now receive 69 doses of 16 vaccines.
There is often confusion regarding how those "vaccine dosage" numbers are derived. To explain, vaccine preventable illnesses each have their own individual and unique vaccine, and sometimes those vaccines are later combined into combination vials. For example, the measles vaccine, mumps vaccine, and rubella vaccines are each made individually and specifically for those three separate illnesses. As the vaccine schedule grew, vaccines were combined into different combo vials, in this example producing the combined MMR vaccine, which reduced the number of injections that a child has to receive. The pro-choice often refer to MMR as either three separate vaccines, or three separate vaccine doses within one combination shot. I have also heard pro-vaccine doctors refer to the MMR vaccine as three vaccines, or 3 individual doses within a combination shot. And I have sometimes heard the pro vaccine become annoyed when the MMR vaccine is referred to in this way.
In response, I'll provide you a different example. What if you took one pill of each, Tylenol, Advil, and Aspirin, and if in a single swallow you downed all three pills. Should that be considered 3 separate drugs? Would it be fair to say 3 doses of pain killer? Or should we insist that such a combo be classified as a single dose of a single painkiller? I think most people would agree that such a combination could be referenced fairly as three distinct drugs administered at the same time, or three unique pain killer doses.
Now to get back to the vaccine dosage discussion. After 1986, the Canadian vaccine schedule also grew drastically, following the American schedule nearly identically with only minor differences. Before the 1986 American legislation, Canadian children also received 24 doses of 7 vaccines from birth to 18 years of age. Today, a Canadian infant receives nearly as many doses as American infants, receiving at least 23 doses of 7 vaccines by six months of age (depending on the vaccine administered, children might be receiving 26 doses as well). Looking at the Canadian schedule from birth to 18 years of age, Canadian children today receive 70 doses of 16 vaccines.
As of 2012, Canada and Russia were the only G8 Nations without a vaccine compensation program. Because of this, technically Canadians can still sue vaccine makers, but such lawsuits have basically been deemed impossible to win. A CTV article, which was highlighting the reality that Canada doesn’t have a compensation program like the US, went on to explain that vaccine lawsuits cannot be won in Canada because Canadian judges believe that regardless the vaccine injury, the person would have still chosen to accept that vaccine risk, even if they had been warned about the risk. beforehand. I disagree. If people were actually informed about vaccine safety issues and informed about the legitimate vaccine risks (beyond fever and redness/soreness at the injection site) I personally believe there’d likely be fewer people willing to accept any and all risk. It's because of that exact reality that patients are not informed about the possible risks, nor are they given a package insert to review.
Separate from that, even if vaccine lawsuits were winnable here in Canada, it’s likely that the average Canadian citizen simply could not afford the financial cost necessary to pursue legal action. When pharmaceutical companies are sued over the adverse events that their drugs cause, their lawyers extend out the legal proceedings for as long as possible, to strain and wear our the plaintiff, emotionally, mentally, and financially.
Terrance Young, a Canadian MP, explains his experience in suing a pharmaceutical company for his daughter’s death. After 6 years of legal proceedings, the drug maker offered him a settlement. He wrote a book about the whole situation, and explained how gruelling and hopeless the legal process felt at times. His book was titled Death by Prescription.
In an interview he gave, Young shares the following information about the Canadian medical system:
In-hospital prescribed drugs are the fourth-leading cause of death in this country.
…In the big picture, I wrote the book to save lives because what I discovered about the pharmaceutical industry in five years of research of how the medical profession aid and abet them in marketing drugs and putting people at risk was absolutely shocking.
The reality is the doctors do not get proper safety warnings. The [Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties] labels are written in cryptic language where the doctors can't even understand if the drug is safe.
When speaking about pharmaceutical companies, Young shares the following:
There is a law that a CEO of a public or private corporation must improve the shareholder value. That's a law, and if he or she doesn't do that they could be sued, they could be in big trouble. But there is no law against putting a dangerous drug on the market. Patients must rely on the civil courts.
…They fought me for six years with motions in court, hoping I would either die or give up and that's what they always do with plaintiffs. If anybody dares sue them, they use their money in court and their huge advantage under civil procedure laws. They virtually never give in until they quietly, basically coerce the family into settling out of court..
…They have so much money they actually intimidate governments and I'm not exaggerating, I've been told this by many experts. For example, they will not hesitate to say to a politician, 'If we don't get this drug approved or if we don't keep our 20-year patents, we'll have to take our factories out of Canada.
A lot of what Young stated in his interview (Link Here), was similar to what David Graham, (the FDA whistleblower) stated in his interview (Link Here). You can learn more from Young in the book he wrote titled Death by Prescription: A Father Takes on his Daughter's Killer (Link Here)
Take a read through the CTV article which explains what happens in Canada if you or your child is vaccine injured. (Link Here) The research paper that was highlighted in that CTV article is titled: Designing a No-Fault Vaccine-Injury Compensation Programme for Canada: Lessons Learned from an International Analysis of Programmes (Link Here)
An article that explains the lack of transparency here in Canada - pharma paying Canadian doctors (Link Here)
Past & Present Vaccination Schedules in the US (Link Here)
Current Vaccination Schedule in Canada (Province of Alberta) (Link Here)
Continue to the next post here: Safety & Efficacy - Part 26