Court Rules that Vaccine Made Girl Autistic

March 16, 2008 10:30 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Hannah Poling’s parents won a lawsuit against a federal vaccine oversight body claiming that immunizations made her autistic.

30-Second Summary

U.S. government health officials admitted that a string of nine vaccinations administered to Hannah Poling exacerbated an underlying condition that led to her developing autism.

Her mother, Terry, said on the March 7 edition of “Larry King Live” that Hannah changed after receiving a large set of vaccinations because she had fallen behind in her scheduled immunizations. “Hannah had a decreased level of consciousness … anorexia … She just deteriorated. She couldn’t put food from her hand into her mouth.”

Autism is a developmental disorder that disrupts thought processes. Those afflicted have a hard time communicating and conducting social interactions.

Following the verdict, public health officials were quick to emphasize that child vaccines are safe. Dr. Julie Gerberding, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that “immunization is life-saving … and is an essential component of protection for children across America and around the world.”

The Poling case is the latest example of the debate over whether there is a link between childhood vaccinations and autism. A 1998 study published in British medical journal The Lancet claimed that there was a link between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine and an increased risk of autism, saying that the immunizations caused toxins to leak into the brain.

However, several of the study’s co-authors pulled their support from the research when they found that the rates of autism diagnoses increased in areas where there was a lower rate of MMR vaccination.

But the Autism Research Institute cites a study from the Institute of Medicine that says its “conclusion does not exclude the possibility that MMR vaccine could contribute to ASD [autism spectrum disorder] in a small number of children.”

Headline Link: ‘CDC Scrambles to Reassure on Vaccine Safety’

Reference: Autism

Reactions: A debate on the safety of vaccinations

Opinion & Analysis: Is there a connection between vaccinations and autism?

‘No link between vaccinations and autism’
‘Possible link between vaccinations and autism’

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