March 22, 2008

The Spectator: Another Piece in the Jigsaw

They are catching on to Hannah's story in the UK.

Another piece in the jigsaw?
22 March 2008
Melanie Phillips
The Spectator

A propos the Wakefield affair discussed in my post below, a recent case in America should not pass without comment. In a landmark ruling, the US Court of Federal Claims, Office of the Special Master, under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Programme, conceded a vaccine injury to a child from Georgia who, having been developing normally until she received multiple vaccinations, subsequently developed serious brain and body disorders.

Nine year-old Hannah Poling, who at 18 months was recorded by paediatricians as meeting all her developmental milestones, was then given no fewer than five vaccinations in one day — DTaP, Hib, MMR, Varivax, and IPV. Id — following which she suffered a catastrophic breakdown in brain and bodily functions, regressing in language and social development and with persistent gut problems. The court ruled that

the vaccinations CHILD received on July 19, 2000 significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder.

Writing in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, journalist David Kirby goes further and says:

The November report said Hannah's vaccine reaction had ‘manifested’ as early-onset brain disease, with ‘features of autism spectrum disorder.’ But the February report is more blunt. It says that Hannah's vaccines ‘caused’ her ‘autistic’ brain disease.

This ruling is the first time a causal link has been established between childhood vaccines and autistic spectrum disorder. It is important to note straightaway an important point of difference from the MMR controversy in the UK. This child’s immune system collapsed not as a result of MMR alone but because she received multiple vaccinations in one day, including the MMR triple jab.

Precisely what caused Hannah Poling’s catastrophic reaction, therefore, cannot be established. We don't know whether it was one of these vaccines or the fact that they were in combination. Nevertheless, this case should not be dismissed as having no relevance. These vaccines did include MMR, and the symptoms she displayed bear remarkable similarities to those reported by countless parents in the MMR controversy. Despite the differences, the significance for the MMR controversy is that this ruling established for the first time that a hitherto unknown problem with a child’s cellular system caused a catastrophic reaction in that child to a vaccination schedule, including delivery of the already multiple MMR, that has produced no ill-effects in other children. This suggests that, in some children, multiple vaccines overload immune systems that are particularly vulnerable.

In America, the health authorities are dismissing this ruling as a one-off with no further significance. But surely it suggests instead that urgent questions now demonstrably need to be asked about both the safety of these these childhood vaccines in themselves and the policy, so dear to the medical establishment on both sides of the Atlantic, of multiplying the number of vaccines delivered simultaneously to small children?

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