Friday, October 11, 2013

Vaccines, Infants and Court

Numerous scientific studies have proven that there is no link between vaccines and autism. However, sound science has not prevented people from claiming vaccines caused their child’s autism. Vaccine Court, or the Federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, settled two separate cases to children suffering various conditions earlier this year.  Although the cases had no merit, they have been misinterpreted because they were settled.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), which is the defendant in vaccine court, conceded the cases because they couldn’t dedicate any more resources to defending them.

Huffington Post and the website VacTruth reported the case of Ryan Mojabi, a ten-year old boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Ryan received the MMR shot in December 2003 and left days after the shot for Tehran.   While in Tehran, he was admitted to the hospital with measles like rash, high fever and other symptoms.  The doctor in Tehran said the symptoms were most likely the result of the MMR vaccine.  It was determined he had encephalitis, a swelling of the brain, and later he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The case was unpublished, so the information surrounding Ryan’s vaccination and autism struggle is limited.  However, it was noted that despite his adverse reactions to the December 2003 vaccine and subsequent hospitalization while overseas, that he continued to receive vaccines through 2005.  It was also noted that he had adverse reactions following all of the vaccinations.  These two statements raised a lot of questions for Vaccine Watch. 

The second case involves a little girl named Emily Moller.  Her case has been in court for the last ten years, since her mother claimed that the DTaP vaccine Emily received at 15 months led to a seizure disorder, encephalitis and later, a diagnosis of ASD.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes that autism is an urgent health concern and supports comprehensive research.  CDC is focusing on understanding ASD, advancing research for causes and treatments, and improving early detection.  There are still many unknowns about autism, including if encephalitis and autism are linked.

Natural Society reported a third case, where a family was awarded $475,000 after their daughter died from an auto-immune disease they claim was caused by the hepatitis b vaccine.  Natural Society argues that the hepatitis b vaccine should not be given because there are too many risks.

The CDC website states that 12.5 million Americans have been infected with hepatitis b at some point in their lifetime.  This serious virus can lead to chronic liver disease and liver cancer.  Lifelong infections are more probable in those infected during infancy. 

CDC states that vaccination continues so that diseases can’t make a comeback. While autism is more common than it once was, numerous studies have proven that vaccines and autism are not linked. Parents should discuss any concerns they have with their child’s pediatrician.

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