Mapping the world's opinions

argument top image

Are vaccines safe? Show more Show less

Immunisation is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. "Anti-vaxxers” have firm convictions about vaccines’ harmful effects and many people believe their children have been harmed by vaccines. Others have ‘vaccine hesistancy’: they are not inherently anti-vaccine, but are concerned or confused by the mixed messages they are exposed to and want to do the best for their children.

Vaccines are unsafe Show more Show less

Big Pharma puts profit above safety, and promotes misinformation about the dangers of disease that our bodies are perfectly capable of fighting off without vaccinations.
< Previous (2 of 3 Positions) Next >

The passing of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act suggests that vaccines are inherently unsafe

Why would US lawmakers pass an act to eliminate the financial liability of vaccine producers if vaccines are safe?
< Previous (7 of 7 Arguments) Next >
Health Warning Misleading

Context

For accurate information on the efficiency of vaccines, consult the WHO website.[1] In 1986, the US Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The legislation provided the legal acknowledgement that vaccines occasionally can, and do, cause lasting injuries and death. As such, the act created a federal compensation plan for the victims of vaccines.

The Argument

Why would a government pass an act like the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act if it was confident that vaccines are safe? In 2011, a Supreme Court decision in the case of Bruesewitz vs Wyeth also concluded that vaccines were “unavoidably unsafe”. In the decision, the court effectively removed any liability from vaccine manufacturers who made unsafe products.[2] Both of these incidents demonstrate that in the eyes of the law, vaccines are inherently unsafe. The Supreme Court is also known for having an exceptionally high burden of proof. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that vaccines are, in fact, “unavoidably unsafe”, as the court concluded.

Counter arguments

Lawmakers did not pass the bill because they believed vaccines were dangerous. It was passed to ensure that there was a constant supply of vaccines available. In the 1970s and 1980s, the notion that vaccines could have harmful effects prompted a slew of lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers, despite no scientific evidence to demonstrate a causal link between the two (nor has there been since). With the increasingly litigious American legal system, many vaccine manufacturers opted to cease production of common vaccinations in the early 1980s and by 1985, it was becoming difficult for vaccine manufacturers to secure liability insurance. As the threat of a vaccine shortage drew near, and prices for common vaccines skyrocketed, Congress stepped in and passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. This federal no-fault system allowed manufacturers to Manufacture vaccines without fearing legal proceedings, so began producing vaccinations once more.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act [P2] The act absolved vaccine manufacturers of liability in the event their product produced adverse health effects. [P3] Therefore, Congress clearly believed vaccines were unsafe. [P4] Therefore, vaccines were probably unsafe.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P3] Congress passed the bill to ensure continuity of supply of vaccinations which was threatened by lawsuits.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.who.int/topics/vaccines/en/
  2. https://www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/Vaccinations--Know-the-risks-and-failures-.aspx

Explore related arguments

This page was last edited on Wednesday, 12 Aug 2020 at 13:46 UTC