Around 7,000 American families have joined a very long queue to try and win a cash settlement after their children suffered permanent, or longterm, damage from one of the 'safe' vaccines such as the MMR. To win their case with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VCIP), the families must prove a direct causal link between the damage done to their child and the vaccine.
For this, they must locate good scientific evidence which would be recognised and accepted by the VCIP board.
Unfortunately, as we're always reminded, scientific studies have consistently proven that the vaccines are absolutely safe. Even Dr Andrew Wakefield's infamous claim of a possible link to autism has been discredited by medical research.
And, as luck would have it, in the very week when the VCIP started reviewing the merit of the parents' claims, the august New England Journal of Medicine published another study that suggested that the vaccines - and especially the thimerosal preservative used in the vaccines - didn't affect neuro-psychological functioning.
To discover the safety of the vaccines, the researchers looked at the health records of 1,047 children aged between 7 and 10 years who had been given their first thimerosal-loaded vaccine as a baby. They couldn't find anything out of the ordinary among the children.
However, in making their selection, the researchers took out any children who had existing neuro-psychological problems, such as encephalitis, meningitis or hydrocephalus, as this might have caused 'bias' to the results.
So let's get this straight. The children who were removed from the study had been vaccinated, and they were displaying neuro-psychological problems. Once removed, the researchers were left with a group of healthy children, whose very well-being 'proves' the vaccine is safe.
Don't expect any pay-outs any time soon from the VCIP.