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Federal Court Once Again Exonerates Vaccines
Judges Declare Vaccine-Autism Theory is “scientifically unsupportable”
March 12, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Amy Pisani, 202-277-7587, amyp@ecbt.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Court of Federal Claims today exonerated vaccines in the debate over the causes of autism. The three judges ruled that thimerosal-containing vaccines do not cause autism. The ruling supports a series of biological and epidemiological studies which have failed to show a link between vaccines and the widely-diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder. Another ruling last year from the same court declared that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, or MMR, in combination with thimerosal-containing vaccines, does not cause autism.

"The Court has supported the science that shows that vaccines do not cause autism," said pediatrician Dr. Paul Offit, chief of Infectious Diseases and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Parents should take heart in this decision and continue to immunize their children with the confidence that they are the safest, most effective way to protect against dangerous diseases."

The decision is the result of an extensive deliberation by three Special Masters, judges responsible for claims filed in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. In one opinion, Special Master George Hastings wrote, "This case, however, is not a close case. The overall weight of the evidence is overwhelmingly contrary to the petitioners' causation theories…In short, this is a case in which the evidence is so one-sided that any nuances in the interpretation of the causation case law would make no difference to the outcome of the case."

"It's time to move forward and look for the real causes of autism," said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation. "There is not a bottomless pit of money with which to fund autism science. We have to use our scarce resources wisely. Our children deserve real answers and at this point doing more and more studies of vaccines, when the science is so clear, would be allowing politics to triumph over science."

"This is a great day for children," said Amy Pisani, MS, executive director of Every Child By Two. "One life lost to a vaccine-preventable disease because of false rumors is one too many. With this decision, as well as the recent retraction of The Lancet study, we hope these rumors are finally put to rest so that families can once again feel confident in the safety of vaccines."

This is the second of two decisions issued in what the U.S Court of Federal Claims has dubbed the Omnibus Autism Proceeding. Thefirst decision, which was ruled upon last year by theSpecial Masters, determined that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, or MMR, in combination with thimerosal-containing vaccines do not cause autism. These judgments will decide over 5,000 claims pending in this court that autism is caused by vaccines.

For more information on the decision, please visit our page on the Vaccine Court.

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Every Child By Two, Carter/Bumpers Champions for Immunization, seeks to raise parental awareness of the critical need for timely immunizations and foster methods to ensure that all children have access to life-saving vaccines. For more information, please visit www.vaccinateyourbaby.org and www.ecbt.org