A special federal court ruled yesterday that vaccines do not cause autism and that thousands of families with autistic children are not entitled to compensation, delivering a major blow to an international movement that has tried for years to link childhood immunizations with the devastating disorder
The ruling closes one chapter in a long feud that has pitted families with autistic children against the bulk of the scientific establishment. Those who believe passionately that routine childhood shots are to blame for the rising toll of autism feel they are locked in a David-and-Goliath struggle against vaccine manufacturers, corrupt scientists, federal agencies and the mainstream media. It remains to be seen whether yesterday’s ruling will end the controversy – or be seen as just more evidence of what some call a conspiracy.
The vast majority of credible scientific studies have shown – and all federal health agencies have strenuously argued – that there is no connection between vaccines and autism. And public health officials have repeatedly warned that fewer immunizations will endanger children’s lives.