Government program has been quietly paying awards to vaccine-injured
children with autism for two decades but continues to deny vaccine-autism link.
SafeMinds calls for immediate Congressional investigations.
WASHINGTON, May 10, 2011
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following is being released by SafeMinds (www.SafeMinds.org):
For over 20 years, the federal government has publicly denied a
vaccine-autism link, while at the same time its Vaccine Injury Compensation
Program (VICP) has been awarding damages for vaccine injury to children with
brain damage, seizures and autism. A new investigation, based on verifiable
government data, breaks ground in the controversial vaccine-autism debate. The
investigation found that a substantial number of children compensated for
vaccine injury also have autism and that such cases have existed since 1989,
the year after the VICP was formed.
SafeMinds’ Executive Director, Lyn Redwood, RN,
MSN comments, “This study dramatically shifts the debate on autism and
vaccines. The question is no longer, Can vaccines cause autism?
The answer is clear. Now, we have to ask, How many cases of autism
have vaccines caused and how do we prevent new injuries from occurring?”
The government has asserted that it “does not track” autism
among the vaccine-injured. SafeMinds responds that not looking is the
easiest way not to find something. SafeMinds is calling for immediate
federal research into the mechanisms of injury in these children in an effort
to protect other children from harm and Congressional action to reform the
The peer-reviewed study looked at cases of vaccine injury that have been
monetarily compensated by the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
It was published today in the Pace Environmental Law Review. The
study investigated approximately 1300 cases of childhood brain injury as a
result of vaccines in which the Special Masters ruled for the plaintiffs,
looking for references to autism, symptoms of autism or disorders commonly
associated with autism. It reports that twenty-one cases actually stated
“autism or autism-like symptoms” in the court records. The
researchers then identified and contacted 150 more compensated families to find
out whether the children had autism. They were able to find an additional
62 cases (greater than 40% of their sample) for a total of 83 cases of autism.
In 39 cases (47%) there was confirmation of autism beyond parental
The federal government has called autism a “national health
emergency,” conservatively affecting 1 in 110 children and costing the
country billions of dollars each year. If a portion of autism cases are
vaccine-induced and there is evidence that officials have been “looking
the other way,” this cannot be tolerated. The VICP’s recent attempt
to dismiss the over 5000 cases in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings is suspect in
light of these new findings based on its own records.
SafeMinds calls on Congress to fully investigate the VICP, the only
forum in which parents may bring claims of vaccine injury on behalf of their