The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld liability protections for vaccine makers, ruling that they can’t be sued in state court for design-defect damages. The 1986 federal law created a no-fault compensation program to shield vaccine manufacturers from excessive tort litigation.
Between 1978 and the mid- 1980s, product liability lawsuits against vaccine makers went from a few single cases to hundreds of actions. The massive litigation led to two of the largest domestic manufacturers going out of business. Congress responded with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The law allows plaintiffs to file a petition for compensation in the US Court of Federal Claims. Successful claimants can receive awards for medical, medical, rehabilitation, counseling and other expenses. Vaccine-related death awards have a $250,000 cap. Is that what a child is worth?
Because vaccine makers have this protection there is little incentive for them to design vaccines that result in fewer side effects and longer lasting immunity.