Annals of “I’m not anti-vaccine,” part 1

Kent Heckenlively shows us why AoA is “not anti-vaccine”:

Bruesewitz v. Wyeth has the potential to move all that in a new direction. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act simply states, “No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable . . . if the injury or death resulted from side-effect that were unavoidable even though the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings.”

What does that mean in plain English? The example I’ve always heard used in reference to such a standard is dynamite. Now we all know what dynamite does. It blows up. So, if you light a stick of dynamite, wait over it, and it blows up, you’re out of luck. By its very nature dynamite is an inherently unsafe product.

But if you have a six-foot fuse, light it, and as you try to run away the fuse burns so quickly that you can’t escape, well, you’re entitled to recovery. Or, if they use substandard chemicals and the dynamite simply blows up while sitting in a box, then you’re entitled to recovery.

You can still sell dynamite. As the manufacturer you just need to sell the safest dynamite you can produce.

To Kent Heckenlively, vaccines are like dynamite; their purpose is to explode and thereby destroy. I find it quite telling that Heckenlively couldn’t think of another example to illustrate his point. I’m surprised he restrained himself not to use another similar example, such as firearms. In any case, note how he chose the example of a product designed to destroy in the context of crowing over a Supreme Court case that, in the unlikely event the plaintiffs prevail, could severely limit the power and scope of the Vaccine Court.