“If the product is safe,” asks Aaron Siri, “why does the manufacturer need blanket immunity to liability for injuries the product causes?”
In a recent episode of “American Thought Leaders,” host Jan Jekielek and Siri discussed vaccine manufacturers and their unprecedented protections from liability for injuries and even death caused by their products. Siri, a managing partner at Siri & Glimstad, has led several high-profile lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers and federal health agencies since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jan Jekielek: You’re very serious about mandates of any foreign substance being put into someone’s body, and your firm has done a number of related court cases, most recently around the COVID-19 genetic vaccines. How did you get into this?
Aaron Siri: I was a commercial litigator for years. Somebody I had worked with contacted me and said, “I’m going to work for the Department of Justice. I’ve got a case where this nurse was seriously injured from a flu shot, and I can’t represent her, because I’d be conflicted.” It’s the Department of Justice that defends against lawsuits brought by people claiming a vaccine injury.
If you’re injured by a vaccine, you can’t sue the manufacturer, you have to sue the federal government, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. He asked if I would be interested, and I took the case, and we ended up obtaining compensation. I’d taken on a number of related cases as well.
Mr. Jekielek: So you’re suing the secretary of Health and Human Services?
Mr. Siri: That was one of the first things I learned about vaccines. I was always told the vaccines are safe. If the product is safe, why does the manufacturer need blanket immunity to liability for injuries the product causes? If it’s safe, there shouldn’t be any injuries or there should be one in a million, as you often hear. So why did they get this immunity?
After the vaccine manufacturers asked Congress to give them this immunity, claiming that otherwise they would be forced to stop producing three routine children’s vaccines because of the liability costs, in 1986 Congress granted them immunity. Had Congress done nothing, and just let the market forces do what they do, would those vaccine manufacturers have gone out of business? No, they’re in the business to make money. They probably would have retooled and made a better, safer product.
But Congress gave them immunity, not only for those three vaccines, but for any future recommended childhood vaccines.
That act of immunity has set off the cascade of events we see today around these vaccines: how the public views them, how our health authorities treat them, and how pharma has been able to run amok.
Mr. Jekielek: You’ve been involved in quite a few high-profile cases. One is the V-safe lawsuit. What is that?
Mr. Siri: The core of our vaccine practice is the vaccine policy work. Most of that is done on behalf of the nonprofit Informed Consent Action Network. They asked us to get the data from the V-safe database. The V-safe database is what the CDC calls its premier safety system for COVID-19 vaccines. For decades, the CDC said that their VAERS [Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System] database was their premier database for assuring vaccine safety.
But just as the first COVID vaccine was about to be authorized in December 2020, the CDC and the FDA changed their tune, after lots of reports started coming into VAERS. They said there were issues with VAERS and rolled out V-safe.
In designing V-safe, the CDC offered a list of check-the-box options regarding the vaccine. One category asked questions of people: Did they need medical care? Did they miss school or work? Were they unable to perform normal daily duties? ICAN, my client, wanted to know at what rate people needed medical care after a COVID-19 vaccine.
We asked the CDC to provide that data, but it refused. As usual with our health agencies, despite their claims of transparency, we had to sue them in federal court to get the information. They finally capitulated—it took almost a year and a half—and provided the data.
We then saw why they didn’t want the public to have it, because it showed that 7.7 percent of V-safe users, out of a little over 10 million users, reported needing medical care after a COVID-19 vaccine. These 10 million users were the enthusiasts, the ones clamoring for the shot. Nobody was yet being mandated to get it. When 7.7 percent are reporting they needed medical care, it’s probably a good reflection of the full population that got the vaccine. Another 25 percent reported being unable to go to school or work and to perform normal daily activities. So 32 percent of folks reported having some issue.
What’s concerning here is the CDC transparency. During the year and a half they were hiding this data from the public while we fought to get it, they published over a dozen studies using V-safe data to assure the public these vaccines were safe. But those studies only included the first week of V-safe data reporting, of people needing medical care after the shot. And that rate was something like half a percent. But this idea that the first week is representative of safety, they know that’s not the case. For the first six weeks, for example, the numbers are way larger. They never disclosed this to the public.
By the way, COVID has made many people really look at vaccines for the first time. They saw the clinical trials, the coercion, the rollout, and how some of the science was being mucked with on natural immunity. They’re now paying attention. Scientists who take issue with these products are getting on the media and being interviewed. But there were such scientists for many of the other vaccines. I know them.
Mr. Jekielek: Are you telling me this has happened in the past, just on a smaller scale?
Mr. Siri: From my vantage point, what is happening with the COVID vaccine is little different from what has happened with other vaccines in the past. The difference is the public’s interest in this particular vaccine and the views of those not in lockstep with pharma and the health agencies.
Mr. Jekielek: But presumably because you see a safety signal early on, you can stop the use of a product, which has happened before.
Mr. Siri: There are basically two ways you can assure product safety. The way you really assure it is letting class action and product liability attorneys sue the manufacturer if their product has a safety issue. With the vaccine manufacturers immune from legal action, you have taken away the primary way we can assure product safety in this country.
Regulatory oversight is the second way we assure safe products, but it’s far weaker in this case. The Department of Health and Human Services is the department under which you have the CDC, the FDA, the NIH, and a list of over 20 health agencies. That department is responsible for promoting vaccines, yet it’s also responsible for the safety of vaccines. Those two things are in conflict. You tell an agency to promote this product, and then you tell them to ensure its safety. Finding any safety issue undermines the promotion function, leaving our health agencies in many ways hopelessly conflicted.
Mr. Jekielek: Are you an anti-vaxxer?
Mr. Siri: We get labeled with that pejorative. But these groups out there are fighting for everybody, even those who don’t realize it. ICAN, the nonprofit we represent, isn’t looking to take a vaccine away from anybody. They’re not looking to pass laws that prevent you from getting shots. They’re fighting to assure your rights to informed consent and bodily integrity, and your right to say no.
It’s that ability to say no that is so critical, because it is the last stop on that train to protect you and your child from a product that you think might harm you or your child. If you can’t do that without being kicked out of school, thrown out of your job, or excluded from civil society, then you don’t really have the right to say no. And hopefully one day, we will recognize that these nonprofits were performing an incredible public service.
Mr. Jekielek: A subcommittee on the weaponization of the federal government has been formed. If you had a wish list for this committee, what would that be?
Mr. Siri: First, that the federal government would stop coercing people to get medical products they don’t want. Second, that the government quit violating the First Amendment by trying to control the media and social media.
I hope we can return to appreciating and respecting those rights. That is my hope in 2023 for our country.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
One thought on “Vaccine Makers, Immune From Liability Aaron Siri talks about taking on Big Pharma, the most protected industry in America by Jan Jekielek and Jeff Minick”
no immunity from the people , if we quit sitting on our fcking hands over this !