Court rules vaccines do not cause autism

A major blow Thursday for families who believe childhood vaccines cause autism.

Three federal judges ruled the evidence overwhelmingly proves there's no link.
21 experts testified in these cases.

More than a thousand scientific reports were presented.

They were test cases, in a special vaccine court, for families seeking compensation from the government.

The Cedillo family and two others claimed the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, MMR or the preservative thimerosol or some combination of two caused their children's autism.

"She was normal and healthy, and then she got the vaccination," said Theresa Cedillo.

But in all three cases, judges ruled the evidence was "overwhelmingly contrary" to the families.

That their studies were "scientifically flawed" and unreliable."

Their experts: "not as disciplined," "speculative and unpersuasive."

Compared to "far better qualified, far more experienced and far more persuasive" government experts like Dr. Max Wiznitzer.

"There is no proof or basis for the argument that MMR or thimerosol causes autism," said Wiznitzer.

Health and Human Services officials said in a statement they hope Thursday's rulings "help reassure parents that vaccines do not cause autism."

Some parents fear the debate over vaccines is overshadowing a more pressing issue:

"What our constituents, the majority are asking for now is that my child has autism, what do I do now?" said lee Grossman of the Autism Society of America.

Parents like Tracey Wright who paid $20,000 out of pocket last year for her son's therapy.

"My son's seven. What's gonna happen for the next 40 years for him? Somebody needs to be thinking about that, not just about what caused his autism," Wright said.
Thursday's rulings set a precedent, but likely won't end this debate.

More than 5,000 cases are yet to be decided.