Why was the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Started?

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 was an alternative to traditional products liability and medical malpractice litigation against vaccine manufacturers, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists.

In the early 1980’s, news reports of serious side effects from the DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis) vaccine caused some to question the safety of the vaccine. Lawsuits were filed against vaccine manufacturers, doctors, and nurses. Some vaccine companies decided to stop making vaccines, which created vaccine shortages and threatened the public health.

The potential crisis led to Congress enacting a new law to compensate those found to be injured by childhood vaccines. Now, all claims for vaccine injuries must first be filed with the VICP.