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Statement by Autism Speaks Regarding March 12, 2010 Vaccine Court Decisions
Today, a special court ruled that there was no connection between vaccines and autism in three cases alleging that vaccines with thimerosal contributed to autism spectrum disorders. Some parents believe that vaccinations triggered the onset of their child’s autism symptoms. Many studies have been conducted on large populations of individuals to determine if a link exists between thimerosal-containing vaccines and increases in the prevalence of autism. These studies have not supported such a link; however, because it remains possible that specific genetic or medical factors present in a small minority of the general population might lead to an adverse vaccine response, Autism Speaks is investing in research to determine whether subsets of individuals might be at increased risk for developing autism symptoms following vaccination. While we have great empathy for all parents of children with autism, it is important to keep in mind that, given the present state of the science, the proven benefits of vaccinating a child to protect them against serious diseases far outweigh the hypothesized risk that vaccinations might cause autism. Thus, we strongly encourage parents to vaccinate their children to protect them from serious childhood diseases.