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Court Says Vaccine Not the Cause of Autism
Date:2/12/2009

sal-containing vaccines can contribute to causing immune dysfunction," the AP said.

Thursday's ruling is unlikely to end the long-standing dispute over whether childhood vaccines can cause neurological disorders such as autism, as opponents continued to stake out familiar sides of the debate.

"From a medical standpoint, the special master has decided that the legal claim was not supported by the scientific evidence," said Dr. Robert Frenck Jr., professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics' committee on infectious diseases. "That the scientific evidence was indicating that there really was not a relationship between MMR plus thimerosal and autism."

In a prepared statement, Dr. Joseph Heyman, board chairman of the American Medical Association, said: "Three recent rulings by the Special Masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims provide even more overwhelming evidence that there is no association between vaccines and autism or related disorders. Vaccines are one of the best public health accomplishments of all time and have proven time and time again their ability to keep horrific diseases at bay. Measles, rubella, and polio are among the success stories of diseases eliminated in the U.S., but are still active in other countries and could rebound here."

Dr. Barbara Trommer, associate director of the developmental center at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City, said, "The message to parents should be that the health benefits of vaccines far outweigh the risks.

"I wish it [Thursday's ruling] were enough to quell the controversy, but I fear that it might not be enough," Trommer added.

On this point, at least, some opponents agreed.

"This is going to fuel the controversy. This could have the effect of further freaking parents out," said James Moody, director of SAFE MINDS (Sensible Action for Ending Mercury-Induced Neurologi
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