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Federal Court Declares Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism
Date:2/12/2009

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by Every Child By Two:

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims today exonerated vaccines in the debate over the causes of autism. The three judges ruled that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR), given in combination with thimerosal-containing vaccines, does not cause autism. The ruling is consistent with 18 major scientific studies which have failed to show a link between vaccines and the widely-diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder.

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 his opinion on general causation, and the specific case of Michelle Cedillo, Special Master George Hastings wrote, "The petitioners have failed to persuade me that there is validity to any of their general causation arguments, and have also failed to persuade me that there is any substantial likelihood that Michelle's MMR vaccination contributed in any way to the causation of any of Michelle's own disorders."

"This is a real victory for children and a great day for science," said pediatrician Dr. Paul Offit, chief of Infectious Diseases and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "I hope that this decision will finally put parents' fears to rest and that we can once again concentrate on protecting children from the resurgence of deadly vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough."

"What is most important about these decisions is that the three cases were decided based on the overwhelming body of science," said Randolph Moss, partner and co-chair of the Government and Regulatory Litigation Practice Group at WilmerHale. "The Special Masters looked at the scientific evidence and credited the opinions of the scientific experts."

"It is a great relief to public health advocates to see that the Special Masters have based their judgment on the expert opinions of the scientific community," said Amy Pisani, MS, executive director of Every Child By Two. "We are hopeful that parents will have confidence in their decision to protect children against deadly diseases by vaccinating them on time."

This is the first of two decisions to be issued in what the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has dubbed the Omnibus Autism Proceeding. The second ruling will decide whether thimerosal-containing vaccines alone can cause autism. These judgments will decide over 5,000 claims that autism is caused by vaccines pending in this court.

For the full decision text, please go to: http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/node/5026

For more information, please go to: www.vaccinateyourbaby.org


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SOURCE Every Child By Two
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