US Gov’t – Do Vaccines Cause Autism?

May 10, 2011

10 May|Washington DC – For over 20 years,  the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has quietly awarded millions of dollars in damages for vaccine injury to children where their brain damage results in autism.  At the same time, the US government has publicly denied a vaccine-autism link, while pressuring parents to blame the autism-spectrum brain injuries on non-autism causes to file claims.  A new investigation, released today, based upon verifiable government data, breaks new ground in the controversial vaccine-autism debate. 

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The investigation, which officials have already attempted to suppress, was conducted by the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy (EBCALA) and Pace Law School.  They found that a substantial number of children compensated for vaccine injury also have autism.  The evidence indicates that autism is at least three times more prevalent among the compensated vaccine-injured children than the already epidemic level among children in the general population. 

For over 15 years, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the British gastroenterologist who first described the now widely acknowledged intestinal disease [1] in children with autism, has fought for recognition of the vaccine link to this disorder.  He has done so in the face of relentless government and industry sponsored attacks, intended to destroy his reputation and his career.  This study confirms what he and a growing number of doctors and scientists [2] have suspected all along – vaccines cause autism.

The new findings come at the same time that at least 4 federal agencies have reversed their position on the vaccine-autism link and acknowledged the urgent need for further research.[3]  The latest study endorses the concerns of the 89% of US parents who put vaccine safety as their number one medical research priority.[4]  It also supports the recognition of the vaccine-autism link by some senior US scientists and officials.[5]

The culpability of VCIP needs wide-ranging investigation. This program was charged with looking at long term outcome of vaccine-injured children.  It failed to do this.  Had VCIP officials done their job properly, the vaccine-autism link would have been picked up much sooner and tens of thousands of children might have avoided these catastrophic injuries.

EBCALA’s findings were revealed at the US Claims Court in Washington DC.

OMSJ initiated an investigation into the Wakefield controvery in January, after the journal Lancet retracted Dr. Wakefield’s original 1998 report.  A preliminary examination of the retraction, Brian Deer’s investigation, and previously-undisclosed conflicts of interest between vaccine manufacturers and the British Medical Journal (BMJ), raises serious questions about the financial interests of drug makers, medical journals, the British Government and the General Medical Counsel that revoked Dr. Wakefield’s medical license.  Although OMSJ’s investigation is ongoing, investigators have found sufficient probable cause to proceed with a more thorough and transparent investigation – free from the customary “blue-ribbon” panels that are routinely assembled to suppress evidence.

For this reason, OMSJ joins Semmelweis Society International,  EBCALA; the Alliance for Patient Safety, autism community, and physicians like Dr. Wakefield for Congress to investigate the VICP for its failure to adequately monitor vaccine injury.  In comment, Dr Wakefield said, “What is required in nothing less than an overhaul of the entire vaccine program.”

The Pace Environmental Law Review report is posted here.