Federal Court awards compensation to boy injured by
July 20, 2:09 PM 2009
In the case of Andreu v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, No. 2008-5184 (Fed. Cir.) the plaintiff was awarded compensation after suffering irreversible injuries that were linked to the DPT vaccine. With this verdict, the US Court of Appeals recently reversed a decision by the US Court of Federal Claims denying compensation in the case. Council for the plaintiff argued that the child, Enrique Andreu, then age 8 weeks, developed seizures immediately after receiving the DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus) which resulted in low IQ and developmental delays. A claim with the Federal Vaccine Compensation program was originally denied by the Federal Claims Court.
The vaccine compensation program is a no-fault system for injury claims from a variety of vaccines. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is designed to help those who have been injured by vaccines. However, the US Court of Appeals argued that the vaccine court was too harsh, saying it expected "too high of a burden of proof from plaintiffs", and that the vaccine compensation program is only a "remedial compensation program". They criticized those in command for making the process too complex and litigious for victims to receive any compensation. The Federal Appeals Court still must rule on three other similar cases, involving vaccine-related autism.
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Autism and developmental delays are not the only risks involved with childhood vaccines. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) indicated that "one third of the nearly 80,000 reports filed between 1990 and 1997 involved the DPT, whooping cough, vaccine. A total of 876 deaths were recorded after children received the DPT vaccine". (http://www.vaers.hhs.gov/) Those with weak immune systems are at greatest risk.
The concern over the suspected link between vaccination and autism and other developmental delays is not new. And, there are convincing arguments on both sides. Here is a summary of those arguments:
Those who support the idea that childhood vaccines are related to the increasing rates of autism cite the fact that autism rates in the US rose dramatically after 2000 when the number of childhood vaccines went from 8 to 22. (Currently, there are more than a half million children in the U.S. who have autism). In a study done in 2006, comparing autism rates from 1994 to 2002, (when mercury, in the form of Thermasil, was used as a preservative in childhood vaccines), to autism rates from 2003 through 2005 (when mercury had been removed from the vaccines), autism rates declined substantially, by 35%. The complete article published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, can be read here: http://www.jpands.org/vol11no1/geier.pdf
The Institute of Medicine, however, is still reluctant to admit there is a causal relationship between the use of Thermasil/mercury in vaccines and autism. Parents should be aware, that while the FDA had Thermasil removed from MMR, DPT and other childhood vaccines with little explanation, mercury is still present in all flu vaccines, at 25 mcg per dose1.
Advocates of vaccinations refer to a 2004 report from the Immunization Safety Review Committee published by the Institute of Medicine, (http://www.iom.edu/CMS/3793/4705/20155.aspx) claiming there is no conclusive evidence linking autism to childhood vaccines, in particular MMR. In addition, in February of this year, CNN reported (http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/12/autism.vaccines/index.html) on the special federal court which denied compensation to three families who claimed that vaccines had resulted in their children's autism. Even though these three cases represent only a small percentage of the cases of Autism in the US, the report uses the ruling to make the statement "vaccines do not cause autism". As noted above, these three cases are awaiting hearing by the US Appeals Court.
In other related news, the American Association for Health Freedom recently stated in an article entitled "mandatory vaccinations", that there is "a serious trend of deteriorating health among American children. Published in a 1994 JAMA article, a survey conducted by Dr. Michel Odent found that children receiving the whooping cough vaccine were six times more likely to develop asthma than children not receiving this vaccine". The same article made another very interesting point, that "In 1980, American children were vaccinated against six diseases. Today, the mandatory number is 10, with multiple shots. In the near future, there may be two dozen more new childhood vaccines. This estimate may be conservative, according to the National Institutes of Health". This news may be disturbing to those who feel vaccines may very well be contributing to many increasing health problems with children in the US.
It is true, there are no specific studies which directly link vaccines and/or thermasil/mercury to autism and other developmental delays. However, it is remarkable the number of vaccine related deaths which are documented, as well as the increase in new cases of autism which seem to correspond with the increased number of required vaccinations for children. Is the need for vaccinations worth the potential health risks? You be the judge!