The standard DTP or DPT (diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus) vaccine is acknowledged to be the deadliest of all vaccines, causing more disability, illness and the highest risks, even exceeding MMR (measles, mumps and rubella).
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services set up the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) in 1988 to compensate individuals and families of individuals injured by covered childhood vaccines. The VICP itself was adopted in response to a the pertussis portion of the DTP vaccine.
Since 1988, the program has been funded by an excise tax on every purchased dose of a covered vaccine. To win an award, a claimant must show a causal connection; if medical records show a child has one of several listed adverse effects soon after vaccination. The burden of proof is the civil-law preponderance-of-the-evidence standard, in other words a showing that causation was more likely than not.
As of May 2013, the VICP has paid out $2.7 billion for cases involving injury amongst all vaccines.It obliges drug companies that produce vaccines to contribute to the program by paying an excise tax on each dose of vaccine, based on potential risk.
Although the taxes raised by the vaccine tax go into a "trust fund," this trust fund, like most government trust funds, is on paper only. According to the most recent report on the fund, November 2012, the balance in the fund is nearly $3.5 billion.
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