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Coalition for Vaccine Safety Asks Parents to Contact Media

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Age of Autism

March 15, 2010

Coalition for Vaccine Safety Asks Parents to Contact Media


Managing Editor's note: The Coalition for Vaccine Safety has issued the following request:

We are asking parents who have a child who was injured by vaccines or who had a case the Omnibus Autism Proceedings to please contact their local media outlets and tell them your story and how these decisions impact your family in an effort to get this story out to the public. Feel free to use the talking points provided below. Please report back to AOA the responses you receive and stories published by leaving a comment this post. Should you need any assistance in your efforts please contact the Coalition for Vaccine Safety.

Late last Friday, at the end of week’s news cycle, the Court of Federal Claims released its decisions in the second set of “test cases” for the Omnibus Autism Proceeding. These three cases alleged that thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative used in vaccines, contributed to autism. The Special Masters who heard the claims ruled against the three petitioners, just as they had ruled against three test cases last year on a related theory that thimerosal and the mumps-measles-rubella vaccine together caused autism. The breaking story of fraud at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) involving Dr. Poul Thorsen, a leading member of a Danish research group that wrote studies supporting the claim of no mercury-autism link, casts further doubt on the Special Masters’ decisions. The emerging evidence of Dr. Thorsen’s embezzlement of $2 million and falsehoods about his employment raise further questions about the integrity and validity of the much criticized epidemiology that under girds the no mercury-autism link. Especially because the Court in part relies on these studies to reach its conclusions, this deepening imbroglio may explain why the Court sought an eleventh hour release of its long-awaited and critically important decisions.

Here are the three main take-away points:

1. The Special Masters protected the vaccine program – and denied justice to vaccine-injured children.

2. Vaccines cause autism – this Court and HHS have previously acknowledged that.

3. These decisions highlight the inadequacy and possible suppression of vaccine safety science.

   1. The Special Masters protected the vaccine program – and denied justice to vaccine-injured children.

   a. The Special Masters’ denied compensation to the King, Mead and Dwyer families apparently out of the misguided government policy that their role is to protect the vaccine program before doing justice for vaccine-injured children.

   b. They apparently believe that if they acknowledge that mercury causes autism, parents will stop vaccinating their children. Based on this policy, the court failed to weigh the evidence in an impartial way.

   c. The scientific evidence at the hearing that mercury causes neurological and immune damage to infants leading to autism was credible and strong.

   d. The petitioners met their burden of proof to show that the thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs) they received more likely than not contributed to their autism. These petitioners will likely appeal.

   2. Vaccines cause autism – this Court and HHS have previously acknowledged that.

   a. HHS conceded in the 2008 Poling case that Hannah Poling’s autism was caused by vaccines affecting her mitochondrial condition.

b. In another Court of Claims decision, Banks v. HHS, the Court held that vaccines caused the child’s acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) which, in turn, caused the autism spectrum disorder PDD-NOS.

3. These decisions highlight the inadequacy and possible suppression of vaccine safety science.

a. There is overwhelming, uncontested scientific evidence that mercury causes neurological damage and immune dysfunction.

b. The health of these children improved dramatically when they were treated for heavy metal toxicity and immune dysfunction. Their condition was treatable, not immutable.

c. The government removed thimerosal from routine childhood vaccines because of safety concerns.

d. The government has failed to do serious research on children with regressive autism.

e. Until December 2009, the Centers for Disease Control denied any real rise in autism prevalence.

f. Petitioners were unable to gain access in this Court to taxpayer-financed data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink, the most important source of data on vaccine safety.

g. HHS’ assertion of no thimerosal-autism link is dubious.

4. These test cases further erode trust in the National Immunization Program, when trust is already at an all-time low.

a. There is a crisis of confidence in the U.S. vaccine program.

b. A recent study of the American Academy of Pediatrics found that half of all parents have serious concerns over vaccine side effects, and one in four believe that some vaccines cause autism.

c. Parents will not participate in a program that is not as safe as possible or that fails to compensate those who are injured.

5. These test cases highlight the failure of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

a. Simply put, vaccine cases in the Court of Federal Claims are fundamentally unfair. Petitioners fight for compensation at a tremendous disadvantage.

b. Government actors defend a government program, using government-financed science, before government judges.

c. In countless ways – a short statute of limitations, an extremely adversarial atmosphere, no jury, inadequate procedural rules, extremely limited discovery – the deck is stacked against petitioners.

d. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program should be radically reformed or abolished.

6. We lost this round, but we will win this war.

a. The truth will win out. This is the beginning, not the end of this issue.

b. These cases will be appealed; the previous Omnibus test cases on MMR and autism are already in the appeals process. The Cedillo appeal will be argued later this spring.

c. The Supreme Court took Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, a vaccine injury case, and will hear it this fall. It will decide whether petitioners in vaccine court can file in civil court to claim that a vaccine design was defective.

d. The Thorsen investigation will continue.

e. Contact your Senators and your Congressional Representatives to support the Coalition for Vaccine Safety’s call for hearings on vaccine safety.


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