Autism-Vaccine Hearings in Federal Court

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By Admin on May 13, 2008 8:20 AM

A federal court this week is examining claims of a possible link between certain childhood vaccinations and the development of autism and similar neurodevelopmental disorders in children.

The hearings, which began on Monday, are part of the Omnibus Autism Proceeding, in which the U.S. Court of Federal Claims is considering the vaccine-autism claims of the parents of more than 5,000 autistic children. The New York Times reports that this week's hearings are focusing on parents' claims that thimerosal -- a mercury-based preservative that was removed from most childhood vaccines by 2001 -- caused damaged to their children's brains. Reuters reports that, "[a]lthough most medical experts say there is no [autism-vaccine] link, the court can rule there is a plausible association and allow parents of children with autism to get federal compensation from a special vaccine fund."