Just the facts

Tulsa World - - Opinion - Scott Pendle­ton, Tulsa

Poli­tiFact's part­ner­ship with the Tulsa World will ben­e­fit our com­mu­nity — if the or­ga­ni­za­tion cor­rects its own past er­rors.

On its web­site is a 2015 quote from Sen. Paul Rand: “I have heard of many tragic cases of walk­ing, talk­ing nor­mal chil­dren who wound up with pro­found men­tal dis­or­ders af­ter vac­cines.”

Poli­tiFact writer Steve Con­torno dismisses the state­ment by Rand, who is a med­i­cal doc­tor, as “long­stand­ing myth.”

Hardly. In 1986 Con­gress cre­ated the Na­tional Vac­cine In­jury Com­pen­sa­tion Pro­gram. It took away ci­ti­zens' rights to sue phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies over chil­dren who vac­cines killed, par­a­lyzed or brain-dam­aged. In­stead, the pro­gram cre­ated the “vac­cine court,” which has paid more than $3.7 bil­lion to vac­cine vic­tims.

“Vac­cines, like any medicines, can cause side ef­fects. In very rare cases, a vac­cine can cause a se­ri­ous prob­lem. In th­ese in­stances, the Na­tional Vac­cine In­jury Com­pen­sa­tion Pro­gram may pro­vide fi­nan­cial com­pen­sa­tion to in­di­vid­u­als who file a pe­ti­tion and are found to have been in­jured by a VICP-cov­ered vac­cine,” says the web­site of the fed­eral Health Re­sources and Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol pub­lishes a two-page ta­ble of vac­cines of “ill­ness, dis­abil­ity, in­jury or con­di­tion cov­ered” by the pro­gram.

Given the com­pen­sa­tion pro­gram, the HRSA ac­knowl­edge­ment, and the CDC sched­ule, Poli­tiFact's “long­stand­ing myth” char­ac­ter­i­za­tion is plainly “pants on fire” false.

This was pointed out to the Poli­tiFact team at the Sept. 27 event at the Tulsa li­brary.

Will Poli­tiFact cor­rect its web­site?

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