US court rejects vaccines-autism link

first_imgFeb 12, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – In a ruling that aligns with numerous research studies, a special federal court today rejected claims by three sets of parents that vaccines caused their children’s autism.The US Court of Federal Claims ruled against claims that autism was triggered by measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine or by MMR vaccine in combination with vaccines containing thimerosal.”After careful consideration of all the evidence, it was abundantly clear that petitioners’ theories of causation were speculative and unpersuasive,” wrote the special master (judge) in one of the three decisions.The Court of Claims weighs complaints brought by citizens under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, a federal no-fault program set up in 1986 to reduce the number of lawsuits against physicians and vaccine makers. As of May 2008, more than 12,800 cases had been filed under the program, 5,365 of those related to autism. Since 1988, the program has paid out more than $859 million to a total of 956 claimants, according to Court of Claims documents.According to court documents, today’s decisions came in three test cases based on one of three “causation theories” proposed by parents of children with autism: that MMR vaccines and thimerosal-containing vaccines can combine to cause autism. Thimerosal is a mercury-containing compound that is used as a preservative in some vaccines, including some influenza vaccines. Hearings in the three cases were held in 2007.Federal officials and public health and medical groups welcomed today’s rulings, while saying that the search for the cause of autism must continue.”Hopefully, the determination by the Special Masters will help reassure parents that vaccines do not cause autism,” the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a statement.The statement said HHS “continues to support research to better understand the cause of autistic disorders and develop more effective methods of treatment.”Dr. Paul E. Jarris, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, said in an e-mailed statement, “We are glad to see that the Court upheld the strong science supporting the safety of vaccines. Unfortunately, we still do not understand the true causes of autism. Parents of children with autism are struggling to find answers and provide their children with adequate care. We urge researchers to redouble their efforts to find a cause and a cure.”The American Medical Association also hailed the rulings, stating: “Autism is a heart-wrenching condition, and the upheaval felt by parents whose children suffer with autism is understandable—as is their search for answers. We need ongoing research into the causes of autism, but cannot let unfounded myths keep us from giving our children the proven protection they need against infectious diseases.”But SafeMinds, an autism advocacy group, criticized the decision, saying the deck is stacked against claimants because HHS funds vaccine safety research and is the defendant in vaccine injury cases.The group commented, “The denial of reasonable compensation to families was based on inadequate vaccine safety science available to the court. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the defendant in vaccine injury cases and is also responsible for carrying out the very vaccine safety research that should be integral to court decisions. This conflict of interest means the deck is stacked against families when they enter ‘vaccine court’ and is yet one more reason for parents to doubt the integrity of the National Immunization Program.”One of the three families involved in the cases decided today claimed that vaccines containing thimerosal can cause immune dysfunction and that MMR vaccine can cause both autism and gastrointestinal dysfunction, according to the decision document. But Special Master George Hastings wrote that the “evidence was overwhelmingly contrary to the petitioners’ contentions.”In another case, parents argued that a combination of thimerosal-containing vaccines and the measles component of the MMR vaccine caused their son to suffer a “pervasive developmental disorder,” similar to autism spectrum disorder. Special Master Denise Vowell wrote that the evidence presented was “voluminous and extraordinarily complex”—but unpersuasive.See also: Autism decision documents Court of Claims autism proceeding page of Claims backgrounder on autism proceedings 12 HHS news release read more

Beat writers expect Syracuse to roll past Loyola in Carrier Dome

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 25, 2014 at 6:31 pm Phil D’Abbraccio (3-1): Syracuse 73, Loyola 42These O’s ain’t LoyolThe Greyhounds are shooting under 33 percent from both the floor and 3-point range. A team coming off a sub-30 percent shooting performance in a 41-point loss at Butler doesn’t stand much of a chance against Syracuse’s lanky defense. After a scrappy bounce-back victory over Iowa in the 2K Classic, the Orange has no problem with this lower-level conference competition. The Greyhounds barely manage to sneak out of the Carrier Dome and scamper down the block before it gets too ugly.Jesse Dougherty (4-0): Syracuse 74, Loyola 45Something to be thankful forWith the football team reeling to a finish and this team dropping out of the Top 25 for the first time in a long time, Syracuse fans need something to talk about at the Thanksgiving dinner table. It’s not much, but a big win over Loyola is a temporary fix for spotty guard play and foul trouble in the frontcourt.Jacob Klinger (3-1): Syracuse 81, Loyola 65Get on the busThe Orange gets back to home comforts in non-power nonconference play and can simply beat Loyola in a series of runouts. The visitors aren’t likely to shoot their way over the SU zone. Loyola is making a modest 5.5 3s per game. Whoever’s watching gets to see SU send the Greyhounds packing. Commentslast_img read more

Local college hosts public forums for candidates

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, Mich.— The public and staff at Alpena Community College are invited to attend a series of public forums. This is an opportunity for individuals to meet the candidates vying for ACC’s vice president of instruction position.The following candidates and date of each forum are listed on your screen. Starting this week, each candidate will explain why they believe they are best suited for the job.Attendees are encouraged to interact with the VP hopefuls. The new Vice President of Instruction will be in charge of overseeing classroom operations at both the Alpena and Oscoda campuses.The forums will be held in the Fitzpatrick Student Commons room in the Besser Technical Center beginning at 2:30pm. Attendees are asked to wear a face covering inside the building and to social distance.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Three motorcyclists from downstate arrested in AlpenaNext Council members discuss improvement plan for a local parklast_img read more