Report Demands Immediate Congressional Action
Washington, DC – Directors of the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy (EBCALA), parents and vaccine-injured children held a press conference on the steps of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to release a study linking vaccine injury to autism. (To view the full study online, please click here.)
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. Coming out just after the prevalence study of autism in South Korea, this investigation, based on public, verifiable government data, breaks new ground in the controversial vaccine-autism debate.
The investigation found that a substantial number of children compensated for vaccine injury also have autism. The government has asserted that it “does not track” autism among the vaccine-injured. Based on this preliminary investigation, the evidence suggests that autism is at least three times more prevalent among vaccine-injured children than among children in the general population.
EBCALA board member and law enforcement professional Louis Conte said, “Government officials call autism a ‘national health emergency.’ Congress needs to find out what the VICP administrators knew about this vaccine-autism association and when they knew it. Why was this important association hidden in plain sight?”
In 1986, Congress created the VICP under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (1986 Law). This Program has original jurisdiction for children’s claims of vaccine injury. Because almost all children receive multiple vaccinations for daycare and school, it is critically important that the Program provides fundamental fairness, due process and transparency.
This empirical investigation, published in a peer-reviewed law journal, examines claims that the VICP compensated for vaccine-induced brain damage and seizures. The VICP has compensated approximately 2,500 claims of vaccine injury since the inception of the program. This study found 83 cases of acknowledged vaccine-induced brain damage that include autism, a disorder that affects social interaction, language and behavior. In 21 published cases of the Court of Federal Claims, which administers the VICP, the Court stated that the petitioners had autism or described autism unambiguously. In 62 remaining cases, the authors identified settlement agreements where Health and Human Services (HHS) compensated children with vaccine-induced brain damage, who also have autism or an autism spectrum disorder.
Parents reported the existence of autism in telephone interviews and supplied supplemental materials including medical diagnoses, school records, and completed, standard autism screening questionnaires to verify their reports. In 39 of the 83 cases, or 47% of the cases of vaccine injury reviewed, there is confirmation of autism or autism spectrum disorder beyond parental report.
This finding of autism in compensated cases of vaccine injury is significant. U.S. government spokespeople have been asserting no vaccine-autism link for more than a decade. This finding calls into question the decisions of the Court of Federal Claims in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding in 2009 and 2010 and the statement of Health and Human Services on its website that “HHS has never concluded in any case that autism was caused by vaccination.”
Using publicly available information, the investigation shows that the VICP has been compensating cases of vaccine-induced brain damage associated with autism for more than twenty years. This investigation suggests that officials at HHS, the Department of Justice and the Court of Federal Claims may have been aware of this association but failed to publicly disclose it.
The study calls on Congress to thoroughly investigate the VICP, including a medical investigation of compensated claims of vaccine injury.
Dr. Sarah Bridges, mother of a son compensated for vaccine injury who has autism, said, “This study shows a significant connection between vaccine injury and autism. It’s time for our government to treat this issue like the emergency it is and stop sweeping this issue under the rug. No more children should have to suffer what my son did. America’s children deserve better.”
To view the full study online, please click here.