Louisiana governor and possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate Bobby Jindal claims childhood vaccines do not sometimes cause cases of “profound mental disorders,” even though the federal government has for a quarter century funded a program to pay for the care of thousands of catastrophically vaccine-injured Americans.
On last night’s edition of Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File,” anchor Megyn Kelly interviewed Jindal about the vaccine controversy that has arisen in the wake of the current measles epidemic.
“Governor, good to see you tonight,” said Kelly. “Let me start with this, because this is one of the items that made a lot of news this week. Rand Paul said the following [runs video clip]: ‘I’ve heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.'”
Kelly then asked Jindal, “Do you agree with that?”
To which Jindal replied flatly: “I don’t.”
And yet, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, was set up in 1988 to pay for the care of Americans, mostly children, profoundly injured by vaccines. The intent was to hold the vaccine-producing pharmaceutical companies harmless for the relatively rare but catastrophic damage vaccines sometimes cause.
In November, the nonpartisan Government Accounting Office issued an efficiency report on the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, including this up-front admission:
Vaccines save lives by preventing disease in the people who receive them. In some instances, however, a vaccine can have severe side effects, including death or an injury requiring lifetime medical care. VICP provides compensation to people for injuries and deaths associated with certain vaccines for medical and other costs.
A comprehensive review of its 26-year history by the Health and Human Services department found as of March 5, 2014:
- 13,964 vaccine injuries reported to and compensated by the federal program (including 143 injuries caused by the MMR vaccine); and
- 1,132 vaccine deaths (including 57 caused by the MMR vaccine).
Of all the adverse vaccine reactions tabulated, the biggest offender was DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus), which has resulted in 3,285 injuries and 696 deaths in the U.S.
Vaccine-caused conditions compensated by the federal government since 1988 have included a wide variety of serious medical issues.
They include children who suffered anaphylactic shock and brachial neuritis as a result of getting any tetanus-toxoid-containing vaccines; others who developed encephalopathy, a brain disease, from pertussis antigen-containing vaccines, as well as from MMR vaccines; paralytic polio and vaccine-strain polio viral infection from a polio live virus-containing vaccine; intussusception (prolapsed intestine) from vaccines containing live, oral, rhesus-based rotavirus; chronic arthritis from rubella virus-containing vaccines; and vaccine-strain measles viral infections from a measles virus-containing vaccine.