UK tabloid says Italian vaccine-autism ruling will “reignite debate”

In what appears to be an update to this post, Anti-vax sites herald Italy court ruling regarding autism. But no one else… , the English tabloids have picked up and sensationalized the story of a child who was the subject of the court ruling.

MMR: A mother’s victory. The vast majority of doctors say there is no link between the triple jab and autism, but could an Italian court case reignite this controversial debate?

At nine months old, Valentino Bocca was as bright as a button. In a favourite family photo, taken by his father, the baby boy wriggles in his mother’s arms and laughs for the camera.

His parents look at the precious picture often these days. It is a reminder of their only son before they took him on a sunny morning to the local public health clinic for a routine childhood vaccination.

Valentino was never the same child after the jab in his arm. He developed autism and, in a landmark judgment, a judge has ruled that his devastating disability was provoked by the inoculation against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).

Source: The Daily Fail Mail (U.K.)

As previously mentioned, this piece did not get widespread coverage when announced originally back in early May. The child’s name was not released. I am assuming this is the child referenced in the case and the Daily Mail found the family.

This story fails to sort out facts and knowledge from wild speculation and emotion. That’s what tabloids do.

Simply put, the evidence is overwhelming that the MMR vaccine DOES NOT cause autism. No vaccines do. A court ruling is not science, far from it. The judge did not base his decision on the body of evidence, just a few witnesses. U.S. panels have looked at many more dozens of cases and found that the conditions were unrelated to vaccines in children. One errant decision does not overturn them AND the supporting studies.

Valentino’s parents, Antonella, 44, and Maurizio, 43, have been awarded £140,000, to be paid by Italy’s Ministry of Health and they plan a civil action against the Italian government that may get them £800,000 more.

In recent years, public confidence in the MMR inoculation has returned, but the Italian court’s judgment could reopen the controversy. This week, Luca Ventaloro, the Bocca family’s lawyer who specialises in helping families with vaccine-damaged children, proclaimed that the Rimini court judgment was the ‘first public admission’ that the MMR vaccine could, in some cases, lead to a healthy child developing autism.

The Daily Mail, unsurprisingly, skewed this story towards the plight of the family. All this irresponsible reporting will do is cause a reactivated scare about the vaccinations but provides NO evidence towards the conclusion that it is harmful. The fairly sure thing is that more kids will fall ill and possibly die from preventable diseases. Sickening.

  6 comments for “UK tabloid says Italian vaccine-autism ruling will “reignite debate”

  1. June 17, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    Where are the Italian skeptics in all of this? There has to be more to the story than what is reported and misreported in the UK tabloid press.

  2. June 17, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Yes, there probably is more to it. For example, does Italy have a no fault law governing medical interventions?

  3. June 18, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    The Italian court system has always been screwed up and this is just another example of it. Kangaroo courts at their best. (this is not a reflection on most of the great people I know there)

  4. Pete
    June 18, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Has any prominent skeptic ever reached out to the Mail, offering to serve as a reliable source of alternative views? Sitting back and complaining to ourselves doesn’t change anything. Even tabloid journalists like to think they’re objective; they have the same training, just less success in a brutally competitive job market.

  5. Rafe
    June 24, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Apparently, Italians adjudicate issues as well as they fight wars. Face it – any country that takes the Vatican seriously can’t be worth listening to.

  6. June 27, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Here is a blog that responds to the Daily Mail article.

Comments are closed.