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Link Between MMR Vaccine and Autism in Children Rejected

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The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine does not cause autism in children according to the Office of Special Masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The court earned the nickname “vaccine court” because it is responsible for deciding the fate of all compensation claims relating to vaccine associated injuries.

After seeing three cases apparently linking the MMR jab/thimerosal and autism, the court has ruled that that there was no relation between either the vaccine or the preservative thimerosal, which is no longer widely used in vaccines, and the condition.

This news comes as a major blow to over 5000 families who believe that the thimerosal in the MMR vaccine has caused autism to develop in their children.

Curtis Webb is a lawyer for one of the families involved in the case and he has said: “We didn’t just lose, we didn’t get to first base.” He has vowed not to give up in his fight to help the family.

Special Master Denise K. Vowell said: “To conclude that [autism] was the result of [this child's] MMR vaccine, an objective observer would have to emulate Lewis Carroll's White Queen and be able to believe six impossible (or, at least, highly improbable) things before breakfast.”

The decision of the court is a legal one, and is not to be taken as scientific fact. Before coming to the conclusion that the inoculations were not linked to autism, a large volume of scientific evidence was studied, which included medical records and scientific literature put together by medical experts.

Special Master George L. Hastings Jr said: “I find that it is extremely unlikely that any of [this child's] disorders were in any way causally connected to her MMR vaccination, or any other vaccination.”

Family lawyer Webb believes that many people will interpret this ruling as the most recent rejection of the theory linking the MMR jab and autism.

He still believes that the families may have a case and said: “At least as far as those families that believe that it was the MMR vaccine that contributed to their child's autism, I would just say wait till the federal circuit decides the appeal before you give up on the hypothesis.”

In March 2008 it was ruled that one girl, Hannah Poling, had developed autism after having jabs as a child, but only because they may have aggravated her underlying mitochondrial disorder.


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