LAWFUEL – ABC News – The final outcome of hearings in the U.S. Federal Claims Court on the purported link between certain vaccines and autism could have a major impact on vaccination practices across the country, experts in the field say.
And most agree that a ruling against vaccine manufacturers would represent nothing short of a public health disaster.
Awarding a claim would fly in the face of reason and science,” says Dr. Susan Fisher-Hoch, professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Brownsville.
“If the judiciary wish to do this they will open Pandora’s box. The effect on vaccine acceptance would be a disaster.”
Dr. Robert Schooley, professor of medicine and head of infectious diseases at the University of California at San Diego, says such a decision “would only further increase the cost of vaccines and lead to worsening of the public health.”
Others say the hearings on vaccines distract from needed attention to other aspects of autism research and care.
“To have hearings, it’s unfortunate first of all,” says Dr. Peter Hotez, president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington D.C., whose own daughter is autistic.
“We need to do a lot for kids with autism, but focusing on vaccines is really misplaced energy.”
Dr. David Witt, assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco agrees.