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Bill about vaccine liability -- TIME SENSITIVE!

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Bill about vaccine liability -- TIME SENSITIVE!

Posted by R. on July 26, 2002 at 14:55:01:

Two days ago NVIC put out a notice about SB 2053 or the Frist bill. This bill would amend the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in a way that would benefit drug companies and shield them from liability. There are many provisions to this bill but the most problematic one will stop the ability of a vaccine injury victim to bring a lawsuit in civil court.

Several people called and e-mailed and felt frustrated that they had not gotten the information in time. THERE IS STILL TIME!!! On Wednesday this committee did not get to this bill so it is scheduled for next Wednesday, July 31, 2002. It will go for mark-up and be voted on in that committee.

Whether you have a vaccine injured child or not, you need to stand up for the right of maintaining your rights to sue in the court system. This could be the beginning of the end for all sorts of product liability related lawsuits.

NVIC worked hard to preserve the right to sue when this original law was passed. The drug companies are worried because of the lawsuits involving Thimerosal and autism. It makes you wonder what documents might be discovered in a civil case that would never be uncovered in the compensation program. Senator Frist and the drug companies are trying to blame the current vaccine shortages on pending Thimerosal lawsuits that haven't even gotten to court yet. Drug companies have lived liability free since 1987 and now they are using this as an excuse to take away the rights of vaccine-injured Americans. Senator Frist tells us in his press release (below) that this bill will bring balance back to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. NOT TRUE!! The Burton-Waxman bill, HR 3741 is a much better bill that addresses the existing problems in the compensation program, not problems outside the program such as pending lawsuits.

There are a handful of Senators who will handle this bill next week. If you live in a state that is listed please get in touch with their office immediately. If you don't see your state listed contact your Senator and tell him to oppose this bill and to call Senator Frist and other committee members and ask them to oppose it.

Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
James Jeffords (D-VT)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Paul Wellstone (D-MN)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
John Edwards (D-NC)
Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Bill Frist (R-TN)
Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Tim Hutchinson (R-AR)
John Warner (R-VA)
Christopher Bond (R-MO)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Mike DeWine (R-OH)

To identify your Senators if they are not on the list:

To view the bill type in SB2053 once you get there:

To call them: 202-224-3121

There is an excellent summary of the bill written by Renee Gentry of the
Vaccine Injury Alliance:

June 24, 2002
FRIST URGES ACTION TO ALLEVIATE NATION'S VACCINE SHORTAGE Cites HHS Secretary's Advisory Commission's Recent Support for Senate Legislation WASHINGTON, D.C. - To rally action on proposed legislation to reduce the critical national vaccine shortage, U.S. Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) today spoke on the Senate floor to urge congressional action to approve legislation he introduced in March. On June 6, his proposal gained additional momentum when the Advisory Commission for Childhood Vaccines - which advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services on improving the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program - voted in favor of most of the Frist
bill's provisions.

The following excerpts are from Senator Frist's statement on the Senate floor:

"Today, many parents are being turned away with their children still vulnerable to a range of dangerous and often deadly diseases. Five vaccines that prevent eight childhood diseases have been in short supply in the United States since last summer. "...the longer this shortage continues, the more vulnerable our children will become. If we do not take prudent steps today to address current and recurring vaccine shortages, it is almost certain American children will experience an outbreak of diseases that could be prevented." "Today, only four manufacturers produce vaccine for America's children - just two of which are American companies. And new companies that may want to produce vaccines are confronted with the high risk of liability and little profit motive." " pending lawsuit seeks $30 billion in damages while the total value of the global vaccine market is only $5 billion. This legal uncertainty has contributed to an exodus of manufacturers from the vaccine market and a subsequent increase in vaccine prices. In some cases, only one manufacturer is producing some of our most critical vaccines." "The Improved Vaccine Affordability and Availability Act, S. 2053 would restore balance to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. It would help compensate those who suffer serious side effects from vaccines while ensuring that unwarranted litigation does not further destabilize our vaccine supply." "The decision before us is whether to build on the success of vaccines in the 21st Century. And I speak not only of vaccines that already exist and may be in short supply, but future vaccines that will prevent HIV/AIDS or cure Alzheimer's or help the United States win the war on terror through the development of safer vaccines to protect us, and our children, against biological agents."

Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Jim Bunning (R-KY) have cosponsored Senator Frist's "Improved Vaccine Affordability and Availability Act." The bill would require the federal government to build and maintain a six-month stockpile of prioritized vaccines. It also would expand the funding available for state and local efforts to boost immunization rates among adults and children who are underserved or at a high risk to vaccine-preventable diseases.

In addition, the bill would restore balance to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. This program was created in the mid 1980's to quickly compensate those who suffer serious side effects from childhood vaccines, while reducing the legal risk to doctors, nurses and manufacturers.

Frist is a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and a heart and lung transplant surgeon.

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Re: Bill about vaccine liability -- TIME SENSITIVE! (Archive in immunization.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on July 27, 2002 at 07:31:03:

In Reply to: Bill about vaccine liability -- TIME SENSITIVE! posted by R. on July 26, 2002 at 14:55:01:

Thanks, R!



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