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hospitalization rates, neurologic illness, and school performance among a cohort of more than 13,000 children followed up at age 5. Long-term neurologic problems are not found to be related to pertussis immunizations.


The Task Force Report on Pertussis is submitted to the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The committee holds hearings on the report.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and Dissatisfied Parents Together conduct more than 8 months of discussions to develop recommendations for a federal compensation program for children with vaccine-related illnesses and injuries (Coulter and Fisher, 1985). The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act (S-2117) is introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Paula Hawkins and Orrin Hatch.

The Communicable Diseases Surveillance Centre Study, or North West Thames Study, is published by Pollock and Morris (1983). The study, which followed a large group of children after pertussis vaccination, finds no convincing evidence relating DPT vaccine to neurologic damage.


Senate hearings are held by Senator Paula Hawkins on the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act.

Wyeth Laboratories discontinues its marketing of whole-cell pertussis vaccine. Only two pharmaceutical companies in the United States continue to sell pertussis vaccines.

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act is introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Henry Waxman.


A total of 219 lawsuits are filed in U.S. courts alleging harm to a child from pertussis vaccine. The average amount of compensation sought (when specified) is $26 million (Koplan and Hinman, 1987).

The book DPT: A Shot in the Dark is published. Authors Harris L. Coulter and Barbara Loe Fisher (a founder of Dissatisfied Parents Together) describe numerous case histories of children reportedly injured or killed by the DPT vaccine. The book criticizes laws requiring vaccination, calls for further research on and testing of acellular pertussis vaccines, and urges additional research to identify children at particular risk of reacting to vaccines.

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