“These are families who followed the rules. These are families who brought children in for vaccines. These are families who immunized their children.” — Thomas Powers, attorney for children with autism and their families
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims is currently hearing the testimony of families with children with autism who attribute the onset of their children’s difficulties to immunizations which contained the substance thimerosol, a substance containing mercury, which for years was commonly present in MMR vaccines (measles-mumps-rubella) in combination with other vaccines containing thimerosol. Thimerosol is a preservative. In 1982 the FDA called for the removal of thimerosol in over-the-counter products because of its toxicity, but it continued to be used in immunizations. In 1999, the FDA recognized that the amount of thimerosol in immunizations exceeded federal safety guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency. While licensing new vaccines, the government had failed to add up the cumulative effect of thimerosol delivered in all of the doses required in a full vaccination regimen. In 1999, the U.S. government asked that drug manufacturers expeditiously eliminate or reduce the use of the substance, but it is still present in some immunizations. Although we hear warnings about eating too much seafood containing mercury, there have been no warnings about mercury in vaccines. Some symptoms of autism resemble symptoms of mercury poisoning.
Studies performed on the link between thimerosol and autism have not established a link. But 4,800 families, who trace their children’s autism to having received immunizations, and who have filed claims, say that the science used to dispute the link is flawed.
The families are seeking compensation under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. In this court, the burden of proof is easier than in Federal Court. Parents only have to prove that the link between autism and the immunization is more likely than not, based on a preponderance of the evidence.
The Government contends the link cannot be established.
Mothers have been concerned about this link for decades. I remember having discussions about a possible link in the 1970s. I have read or heard of many situations in which a child began to have severe health problems after having received these routine immunizations including autism, inflammatory bowel disease, epilepsy, and glaucoma. Mothering Magazine has covered the developing concerns of mothers over decades now and their award-winning publication on the dangers of immunizations can be purchased here.