Fighting the Autism-Vaccine War
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of US News and World Report
Posted: September 27th, 2008
One of the most vitriolic debates in medical history is just beginning to have its day in court vaccine court, that is. Without laying blame, the independent Office of Special Masters of the Court of Federal Claims with a 20-year record of handling vaccine matters recently conceded that the brain damage and autistic behavior of Hannah Poling stemmed from her exposure as a toddler to five vaccinations on one day in July 2000. Two days later, she was overtaken by a high fever and an encephalopathy that deteriorated into autistic behavior. At some level, the decision was a vindication for families who have been battling with the vaccine community, arguing that some poorly understood reaction to components of vaccines or their mercury-based preservative, thimerosal, could cause brain injury. Yes, vaccines are extraordinarily safe and bring huge public health benefit. But vaccine experts tend to look at the population as a whole, not at individual patients. Families are not alone in searching for a trigger that might explain why autism and autism spectrum disorders have skyrocketed; now they reportedly affect about 1 in 150 kids. The rise of this disorder, which shows up before age 3, happens to coincide with the increased number and type of vaccine shots in the first few years of life. So as a trigger, vaccines carry a ring of both historical and biological plausibility. Go back 40 or 50 years. The medical literature is replete with reports of neurological reactions to vaccines, such as mood changes, seizures, brain inflammation, and swelling.
Note: For many reports from reliable sources of the dangers posed by vaccines, click here.