- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 4, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Elizabeth Whelan’s article (“Unfounded health scares,” Commentary, Dec. 23) was typically interesting and humorous. However, No. 8 on her hit parade was typically inaccurate, and dangerously so.

Taking a cue from Big Pharma, she calls “vaccine causing autism” an “oldie but goody scare” and claims broadly that “the reality is that not only are childhood vaccines safe, but they are necessary.”

The very existence of the federal vaccine court - the Office of Special Masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, underwritten by pharmaceutical manufacturers - and the tort immunity negotiated in federal legislation in early 2008 point to the acknowledged dangers associated with childhood vaccination. Nearly $1 billion has been awarded by this court to date, all to victims of vaccine-inflicted injury. At a minimum, there is a legitimate debate as to the safety and necessity of many childhood vaccinations; at the other extreme lies a terrible ignorance as to the neurological, physical and emotional wreckage for which poorly manufactured vaccines and their preservative agents are responsible.

I witnessed the transformation of a normal 4-year-old into a seizure-stricken, neurologically impaired child with no ability to walk, talk or feed herself. The culprit? The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. Subsequent tests revealed an inordinate level of lead and mercury in her body, clearly the result of the MMR vaccine. She has undergone eight years of therapy and faces a lifetime of more. She is my daughter.

STEPHEN MORIARTY

Great Falls

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