New Study Of U.S. Vaccine Injury Awards Reveals “83 Canaries”: Settlements with Vaccine-Autism Link

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Contact: Vaccine Safety Council of Minnesota
Wayne Rohde 651-705-5030 / 405-973-7049

New Study Of U.S. Vaccine Injury Awards Reveals “83 Canaries”: Settlements with Vaccine-Autism Link

Until now, few people knew that for two decades the U.S. Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) quietly settled about 1,300 cases of vaccine-induced brain injury in children.

The authors of a new study of those cases in the Pace Environmental Law Review conducted an intensive investigation and shockingly, they found 83 cases of autism associated with vaccine injury. These 83 autistic children could have been the canaries in the coal mine who warned us of the oncoming autism epidemic.

A multi-trillion-dollar national disaster could have been prevented. Instead, government officials have been playing deceptive word games with vaccine-induced brain injury, making fine distinctions between autism and “encephalopathy” and “residual seizure disorder.”

In the beginning of the VICP, autism cases were routinely settled under the heading of encephalopathy or residual seizure disorder. But since 2002, the VICP has used a double standard to deny vaccine-induced autism.

When vaccine injury is not called autism but instead labeled encephalopathy or residual seizure disorder, children with autism can be compensated.

When vaccine injury is openly called autism, compensation is denied to children with the same pattern of brain injury.

In cases where autism is present but not cited by families, government officials and experts use the autism label as an argument for denying compensation.

THERE IS NO JUSTIFIABLE DISTINCTION between the “83 Canaries” and the 5,000 denied vaccine injury claims in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding. The process has become completely arbitrary and unfair to families.

Once the autism epidemic began and it became clear how many children were being injured, the government forced these cases into Vaccine Court and began shunting cases that openly included autism into the Omnibus Autism Proceeding.

The Omnibus Autism Proceeding became a “trash can” vehicle used to deny claims and preserve the financial viability of the VICP.

Due to the chilling effect of the Omnibus Autism decisions, thousands of new vaccine injury claims have been prevented – which is what the government wants.

These “83 Canaries” are only the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of cases of autism and brain injury have probably been settled while government officials who should have known better did nothing. Those officials involved in the VICP must be held accountable for this debacle.

The ethical and financial choices are clear. The VICP requires urgent reform. The agencies responsible for this crisis must be investigated. Every child who was injured should be studied so we can prevent further vaccine injury. And we must find ways to improve the lives of all the other “canaries” – the innocent, trusting children whose health we claim to put first.