Italian court reignites MMR vaccine debate after award over child with autism

 

The controversial row surroundings alleged links between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism is set to be reignited following a court ruling in Italy.

Judges in Rimini, north-east Italy awarded the Bocca family Euros 174,000 (£140,000) after the Italian Health Ministry conceded the MMR vaccine caused autism in their nine-year-old son Valentino. Up to 100 similar cases are now being examined by Italian lawyers and experts suggest the case could lead to other families pursuing cases.

Doctors and health experts in Britain insist the link is merely coincidental saying children who develop autism, do so around the same time the MMR jab is administered. The Department of Health says 'there is a wealth of evidence showing children who receive the MMR vaccine are no more at risk of autism than those who don't.'

But the ruling in Italy is likely to re-open a debate which first made the headlines in Britain over a decade ago when the respected medical journal The Lancet published an article in 1998, making a connection between the triple vaccine and autism. Though the author's methods were later discredited, it was enough for many families to refuse their children the jab.

Valentino Bocca was 15 months old when he received an MMR jab in 2004. His parents said the change in him, after the jab, from a healthy boy to one who was in serious discomfort, was immediate.

Luca Ventaloro the family lawyer, said yesterday: “This is very significant for Britain which uses, and has used, an MMR vaccine with the same components as the one given to Valentino. It is wrong for governments and their health authorities to exert strong pressure on parents to take children for the MMR jab while ignoring that this vaccine can cause autism and linked conditions.”

The number of autism cases has risen sharply since the 1970s, with one in 64 British children affected.

It is not yet clear what the new evidence presented to the Italian courts was, but similar cases around the world could be brought.

In the UK, the Vaccine Damage Payments Unit has only paid small sums to 34 cases over the last decade and the child has to be 60 per cent disabled.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Multi Skilled Engineer - Electrical / Mechanical / Maintenance

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A multi-skilled engineer with a...

    Recruitment Genius: Electronic Service Engineer - Television & HI-FI

    £17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Engineers for field & bench ser...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Designer - Award Winning Agency

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity for a t...

    Recruitment Genius: Project Manager

    £35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global provider of call ce...

    Day In a Page

    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
    The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

    The ZX Spectrum is back

    The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
    Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

    Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

    The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

    If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
    The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

    The quirks of work perks

    From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
    Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

    Is bridge becoming hip?

    The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
    Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

    The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

    Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
    The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

    The rise of Lego Clubs

    How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
    5 best running glasses

    On your marks: 5 best running glasses

    Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
    Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada