Court of Claims is hearing a series of arguments from parents who charge
that vaccines gave their children autism.
court is considering arguments from 4,900 parents who say that the vaccines
produced autism or neurological problems in their previously normal, healthy
children. While the disorder normally develops before the age of three,
many of the parents claim that their older children only developed the condition
after being vaccinated.
to deal with the large number of claims, the court's Office of Special Masters
ordered lawyers for the families to select three test cases for each of
the three vaccine-autism arguments that have been put forward.
currently being heard claims that autism was produced by a preservative
thimerosal, which contains mercury. The vaccine caused mercury to build
up in children's brains, the lawyers say, reversing their normal mental
development when brain cells became chronically hyperactive in order to
try and purge the metal.
is a potent neurotoxin that is known to cause a variety of developmental
and brain problems, especially in children.
some kids, there's enough of it that it sets off this chronic neuroinflammatory
pattern that can lead to regressive autism," attorney Mike Williams
past, many children's vaccines were made with the thimerosal. Although the
FDA denies that the thimerosal in vaccines is dangerous, it ordered the
chemical phased out of childhood vaccines in 1999. It is currently found
only in adult vaccines and in certain multi-dose flu vaccines that are also
given to children.
group of parents, which went before the court in 2007 and has yet to hear
a verdict, argued that autism was produced not only by thimerosal, but also
by the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, which does not contain the chemical.
A third group, to be heard in September, alleges that only the MMR vaccine
produced autism in their children.