Autism Not Vaccine Linked: Court : The Two-Way A special federal court rejected an Oregon family's claim for compensation based on an alleged link between mercury-containing vaccines and their child's regressive form of autism.
NPR logo Autism Not Vaccine Linked: Court

Autism Not Vaccine Linked: Court

A special federal court rejected three families' claims for compensation based on an alleged link between mercury-containing vaccines and their childrens' autism.

The rulings against the three families was the second time in a year the special masters in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has ruled that no solid evidence exists to tie the use of thimerosal as a preservative in vaccines to autism.

In one of the three opinions made public Friday, a case involving George and Victoria Mead of Oregon whose son William has autism, the court said:

Petitioners' theory of vaccine-related causation is scientifically unsupportable. In
the absence of a sound medical theory causally connecting William's received vaccines to
his autistic condition, the undersigned cannot find the proposed sequence of cause and
effect to be logical or temporally appropriate. Having failed to satisfy their burden of
proof under the articulated legal standard, petitioners cannot prevail on their claim of
vaccine-related causation. Petitioners' claim is dismissed, and the Clerk of the Court
SHALL ENTER JUDGMENT accordingly.

As NPR's Jon Hamilton reported for the network's newscast:

This is the second time a special court set up to consider thousands of claims involving children with autism has ruled that vaccines are not at fault.

Last year, the court rejected claims in three test cases that vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella had led to autism...

Mercury was removed from nearly all childhood vaccines in the early 1990s even though numerous studies have found no risk.

The court's decision, if not overturned, would mean that most children with autism will not be eligible for payments from the the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.