Education

U.S. Court Finds No Vaccine-Autism Link

By Mark Walsh — February 12, 2009 1 min read

A special federal court ruled today that there is no persuasive evidence for a link between childhood vaccines and autism.

The conclusions came in three test cases heard by special masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, a special court in Washington with jurisdiction over certain suits against the federal government. Since 1987, the court has dealt with claims seeking compensation for injuries stemming from certain vaccines.

Many parents believe that thimerosal-containing vaccines and the vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) are a cause of autism in their children. The debate has been followed by educators, with most scientific research failing to find such a link.

As the special master in one of the test cases concluded in today’s ruling: “After careful consideration of all of the evidence, it was abundantly clear that petitioners’ theories of causation were speculative and unpersuasive.”

The Court of Federal Claims decisions are available at this link. The court also has this background page about its “omnibus autism proceeding.”

The Associated Press has this story about today’s decisions. In 2007, the newspaper Legal Times published this background story on the litigation.

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A version of this news article first appeared in The School Law Blog.