Congress: Don't Postpone Vaccine Injury Hearings Any Longer!

  • by: Susan V
  • recipient: US Congress Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR)

Advocates for the autism community were deeply disappointed to learn that Congress postponed a long-awaited hearing on vaccine injury. The excuse was that the issue was “overly divisive” and premature. But facts revealed at the November briefing demand this delay end now!

At the November 7, 2013 briefing before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR), NY University research scholar Mary Holland and TN Assistant Attorney General Rolf Hazelhurst presented eye-opening evidence focusing on two crucial issues: (1) vaccines can cause autism and (2) families of children who suffer serious vaccine injuries deal with an unjust compensation program that denies about 80% of the claims it receives.

There is plenty of controversy over the autism to vaccine link, a lot of it based on Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s recently vindicated research, and an earlier “Omnibus” ruling by the compensation program. The latter denies the reality that a review of just one small sample of compensated cases found over 50% involved brain injuries - including autism.  

Though there is also disagreement over what should be done about our broken National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, that’s no excuse to postpone the hearings. Too many children and families have suffered terribly and needlessly for too long and many without compensation.

Insist the OGR get on with these vaccine hearings without further delay!

We, the undersigned, see no reason to postpone the hearings on vaccine safety and injury compensation.

The Canary Party and other advocates of reform and vaccine safety have worked incredibly hard with the Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) Committee's chariman Darrell Issa and his staff to get the December 4, 2013 hearing scheduled.

One of these groups, The Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocy (EBCALA) has written Chairman Issa a letter expressing its deep disappointment over news of the postponement and imploring the OGR to get the hearing back on schedule as soon as possible.

Members of EBCALA’s board published findings in 2011 that VICP had compensated 83 cases of vaccine-induced brain damage that included autism, and added the following:

Those 83 cases were from a sample size of about 150 compensated cases, or less than 5% of the total number of 3,200 cases that the VICP has compensated since Congress created it in 1986. This strong association between vaccine injury and autism in the VICP is irrefutable and in the public domain. This association stands in sharp contrast to the VICP’s rulings in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding’s test cases that found no causal relationship between vaccines and autism.

Based on these facts and others presented by reputable researchers, we agree with EBCALA, the Canary Party and others that Congress must hold hearings to investigate this apparent paradox.

EBCALA asks “How can it be that vaccines cannot cause autism when a substantial number of cases the VICP has compensated over twenty-five years feature autism as a vaccine injury?”  The American public deserves an answer.

The Coalition for Vaccine Safety wrote Congress in 2010 asking for an investigation, stating that "HHS non-compliance with the congressional Mandate for Safer Vaccines in the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act clearly calls for congressional intervention and investigation."

EBCALA Chair Tim Adams notes that “Congress created this obligatory forum and thus has both a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that it lives up to Congress’ intent.”

We request that the hearings on vaccine injury be rescheduled immediately!

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