By Davis Taylor
AUSTIN, Texas (April 8, 2019) – A bill introduced in the Texas Senate would prohibit vaccines from being administered unless certain safety criteria are met. Passage of the bill would significantly strengthen vaccine safety testing requirements and push back against any future federal vaccine mandates.
Sen. Bob Hall (R) introduced Senate Bill 2350 (SB2350) on March 8. The legislation would only permit a health care provider to administer a vaccine if all of the following criteria are met.
- The study the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relied upon for approval of the vaccine evaluated the vaccine against a placebo control group or against another vaccine or substance that the FDA approved based upon a placebo-controlled study;
- The study relied upon by the FCA for approval of the vaccine evaluated the safety of the vaccine for a sufficient time to identify potential autoimmune, neurological, or chronic health conditions that may arise on or after a year from the vaccine being administered;
- The vaccine has been evaluated for its potential to cause cancer, mutate genes, affect fertility, cause infertility and cause autism spectrum disorder;
- The Texas Department of State Health Service has posted on its website disclosure of any known injuries or diseases caused by the vaccine and the rate at which the injuries or diseases have occurred; and
- The chemical, pharmacological, therapeutic, and adverse effects of the vaccine and the rate of injury of the vaccine when administered with other vaccines, have been studied and verified.
Effect on Federal Policy
After recent comments by former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb in February of 2019 just prior to his resignation, some believe that federal vaccine mandates are imminent. According to CNN, Gottlieb said, “[I]f states don’t require more schoolchildren to get vaccinated, the federal government might have to step in.” Gottlieb also reportedly said, “You could mandate certain rules about what is and isn’t permissible when it comes to allowing people to have exemptions.”  As discussed below, current vaccine safety testing requirements are far less stringent than most would assume. Passage of SB 2350 would bolster these requirements and make enforcement of any federal vaccine mandates more difficult.
Number of Recommended Vaccines Steadily Rise Since Removal of Liability
Vaccine mandates are generally based upon the vaccine schedules recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Because vaccines pose a risk of injury or death, liability is associated with them. Many Americans are unaware that the pharmaceutical industry is shielded from liability for harm caused by most vaccines. This unique legal protection was put into place as a result of legislation passed in 1986, after extensive lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry. Manufacturers of other products don’t enjoy this freedom from liability. Due to lack of liability, vaccines are the pharmaceutical industry’s most lucrative product.
The 1986 law also created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), which is essentially a special system outside of the normal litigation process to hear claims of harm caused by vaccines. Any compensation granted by the NVICP is paid by the public, through a surcharge on vaccines, and not by vaccine manufacturers. To date, over four billion dollars has been paid under this system to compensate for harm caused by vaccines. 
Further, although discovery is a right afforded to litigants in most other legal forums, discovery is not permitted in the NVICP process. This protects vaccine manufacturers from having to search for, and produce, relevant information, including damaging information. In cases involving prescription medication, which are heard in other legal forums, information unfavorable to the pharmaceutical industry has come to light through discovery, such as the damaging e-mails which were required to be produced in the Vioxx litigation.  Read more here.