Useat borrelioosia sairastavat kertovat oireidensa alkaneen sen jälkeen kun he saivat influenssarokotteen. Seuraavan artikkelin mukaan useissa influenssarokotteissa käytetään vielä nykyäänkin thimerosaalia joka on 50 % elohopeaa. Amerikassa on alkanut sarja oikeudenkäyntejä joissa vanhemmat kertovat lastensa autismin alkaneen sen jälken kun heille annettiin rokote tuhkarokkoa, vihurirokkoa ja sikotautia vastaan. Länsimaissa on luovuttu elohopean käytöstä lasten rokotteissa mutta kehitysmaiden lapsille elohopeaa siältäviä rokotteita annetaan edelleenkin. Elohopean korvaaminen tulee valmistajien mukaan kalliiksi.
U.S. Court of Federal Claims hears arguments alleging vaccine-autism link.
The AP (6/12) reports that a federal court hearing that began yesterday is the first of nine test cases dealing with claims by parents that their children's autism was caused by routine vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella. The hearing in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, expected to last until June 29, will be presided over three special masters appointed by the court who will "decide whether there is a link between autism and childhood vaccines. If it finds one exists, the families could be eligible for compensation under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund, a program established by Congress to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines by safeguarding manufacturers from lawsuits. Under the program, people injured by vaccines receive compensation through a special trust fund." The AP notes, "Since 1999, more than 4,800 families have filed claims with the government alleging their children developed autism as a result of routine vaccinations. Most contend that a preservative called thimerosal is to blame for the impaired social interaction typical of the disorder." However, "large scientific studies have found no association between autism and vaccines containing thimerosal. But many parents say their children's symptoms didn't show up until after their children received the vaccines, required by many states for admission to school." Thimerosal, which is "about 50% mercury by weight, is no longer found in routine childhood vaccines," but is still "used in some flu shots." The New York Times (6/12, A21, Harris) and HealthDay (6/12) also report the story.
ABC World News (6/11, story 8, 2:25, Gibson) covered this case in its "A Closer Look" segment. Lisa Stark reported, "Today, after years of controversy, families of autistic children finally have their day in court. ... The Cedillos and their 12-year-old daughter are bringing the first case, arguing that the mercury based preservative thimerosal, once routinely used in childhood vaccines is at the root of their child's autism. Previous scientific studies and the prestigious Institute of Medicine have found no link between childhood vaccines and autism. Researchers also say when thimerosal was largely taken out of vaccines, autism cases did not decline. But that doesn't mean families won't prevail in this special court set up years ago by the government to hear vaccine injury cases. The bar of proof is low; families simply must prove that is more likely than not that vaccines were to blame." The CBS Evening News (6/11, story 4, 2:40, Couric) and NBC Nightly News (6/11, lead story, 2:45, Williams) also reported this story.
The Washington Post (6/10, A6, Vedantam) added that "thimerosal is still used in vaccines across much of the developing world. If the vaccine court decides that the preservative caused autism, parents of children in poor countries are likely to protest its inclusion, but removing it would make vaccines much more expensive and potentially put them out of reach for many." The Post continued, "Gary Golkiewicz, chief special master in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims,...said he is aware of the larger ramifications. But the court's job, he said, is only to focus on whether plaintiffs show a plausible link between vaccines and autism." The Wall Street Journal (6/11, Goldstein) also noted this story in its Health Blog.