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By F Edward Yazbak MD
Many parents have suspected that their previously normal children regressed and were later diagnosed with autism following Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination.
The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) a joint effort of HHS, the Department of Justice and the US Court of Federal Claims (CFC) has been operational since October 1988 in order to compensate vaccine injured individuals.
The first MMR related autism case was filed with VICP in 2001.
When the number of cases exploded in a short time, the Chief Special Master of the Vaccine Court created the Omnibus Autism Proceeding to adjudicate the expected flood of cases (5,600 by January 2011.) http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/Supplement_1/S74
A PubMed search revealed the listing of multiple publications on MMR vaccination and autism after 1998. Those reports, many by European authors, were mostly published in British medical journals.
Experts from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have always denied any causal relationship between the triple live virus vaccine and autistic regression, fearing that any mention of such relationship might lead to lower vaccination rates and the return of measles to the United States, after it had been eradicated.
F. DeStefano MD, MPH authored or co-authored most of the CDC publications on the subject. In 2001, the year the first MMR –Autism case was filed with VICP, Dr. DeStefano and R T Chen MD published "Autism and measles-mumps-rubella vaccination: controversy laid to rest?”, casually stating that “the weight of the available epidemiological and related evidence does not support a causal association between MMR vaccine, or any other vaccine or vaccine constituent, and autism.”
In 2002, Dr. DeStefano and W.W. Thompson PhD of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities published an Editorial: “MMR vaccination and autism: is there a link?” in Volume I Issue 2 of Expert Opinion on Drug Safety. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1517/147403184.108.40.206
The detailed and well researched publication is certainly worth reading. It listed 32 references but mostly stressed the importance of a particular 1999 publication by Taylor et al (Reference 14) that Drs. DeStefano and Thompson described in the reference table, as “The most scientifically rigorous epidemiological study of a possible association between MMR vaccine and autism. No association was found.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10376617
Under “3- Epidemiological studies of MMR and autism”, DeStefano and Thompson referred again to the Taylor et al Study as “The most scientifically rigorous study to date” and under “5- Causality assessment”, the CDC authors lauded Taylor’s research as “the only population based epidemiological study that has been able to calculate relative risks and no association was found between MMR vaccine and development of autism.”
I certainly respect the right of Drs. DeStefano and Thompson to be impressed by the June 1999 Lancet publication by Taylor, Farrington, Petropoulos, Favot-Mayaud, Li and Waight titled “Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: no epidemiological evidence for a causal association.”
Read the full article at Vaccination News.