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December 7, 1984

AMA offers recommendations for vaccine injury compensation

JAMA. 1984;252(21):2937-2942. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350210001001

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More than 1.6 million children younger than 6 years of age died of pertussis worldwide in 1980, according to an official at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md. That occurred even with a pertussis vaccine program firmly in place in the United States and most other developed countries. Now, with a great deal of interest recently focused on the rare adverse effects of vaccination rather than on the commonly known dangers of contagion, the number of cases of pertussis and possible unnecessary deaths could conceivably rise. (Please see accompanying story.)

To consider the fears of parents and the financial problems of all vaccine manufacturers, many of whom are beset with liability suits, the American Medical Association in late 1983 convened an Ad Hoc Commission on Vaccine Injury Compensation. At its House of Delegates meeting in June, the AMA adopted the commission's findings and the recommendations