Since 1988, a federal program has compensated only about 6,600 people for harm that they said was caused by vaccines, NYT reports. Americans have received billions of doses of vaccines over that time period.
By the numbers: About 70% of these awards were settlements in cases where officials hadn't found sufficient evidence that a vaccine caused the harm.
- Hundreds of thousands of deaths — at least — have simultaneously been prevented by vaccines.
Yes, but: $4.15 billion has been paid out through the program, fueling vaccine skeptics' argument that vaccines aren't harmless.
- But public health experts say that the small number of claims is proof of vaccine safety.