Media attention on celebrities with both anti- and pro-vaccine messages, alternative vaccine schedules, and recent cases of measles and Haemophilus influenzae type b all have served to confuse parents as to the benefits and risks associated with immunizations. Three separate decisions made on Feb. 12 should reduce some of this confusion and provide parents with a new level of comfort with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and thimerosal.

The Special Masters in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program concluded that MMR vaccine with thimerosal, or alone, is not linked to the development of autism. These decisions did not provide any new information. Rather, they concluded that existing scientific evidence supporting a lack of association between autism and MMR vaccine in combination with thimerosal or alone was persuasive and far more convincing than evidence provided by the plaintiffs’ experts in these cases.

The initial association between...

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