12 to 15 months (National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, 1992).

Causation is presumed for conditions listed in the program's Vaccine Injury Table. The table lists illnesses, disabilities, injuries, and conditions covered by the program. If the conditions of the petitioner are not included in the table, they must then prove causation by a covered vaccine. Although the overall utility of the table has been widely accepted, there are several problems with it. For example, there have been a number of disputes over some listed conditions, as well as difficulties in defining "acceptable evidence" for the conditions. By the end of March 1990, the Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had recommended against compensating 74 percent of 57 petitions on the grounds that the injury did not fit the table. However, the court awarded compensation for 90 percent of those 57 petitions, rejecting most of the division's recommendations (Mariner, 1992). The Department of Health and Human Services is developing proposed regulations to amend the table, based in part on the 1991 Institute of Medicine report entitiled Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines.

REFERENCES

Institute of Medicine. 1985. Vaccine Supply and Innovation. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.


Mariner WK. 1991. Innovation and Challenge: The First Year of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Prepared for the Administrative Conference of the United States. May. Washington, D.C.

Mariner WK. 1992. Update: The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Health Affairs 11:255–265.

Mazzuca L. 1992. Shot through with problems. Business Insurance. August 24. p. 1.


National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. 1992. Analysis of Vaccine Excise Tax Levels—Update. Rockville, Maryland: Health Resources and Services Administration.

National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. 1993. Weakly Status Report, February 22. Rockville, Maryland: Health Resources and Services Administration.


U.S. Congress, House. 1986. Childhood Immunizations. A report prepared by the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment, Committee on Energy and Commerce. September. Washington, D.C.


WRC-TV. 1982. DPT vaccine roulette. Video-recording. Washington, D.C.



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