National

Oct 12, 2010 8:11 AM by Associated Press

Supreme Court hears case about vaccine side effects

Parents who say their daughter suffered serious health problems from a childhood vaccine are trying to persuade the Supreme Court to allow them to sue the manufacturer.

The justices are hearing arguments Tuesday in a case that could open drug makers to a flood of lawsuits over the side effects of vaccines, including those from families of autistic children claiming that mercury-based thimerosal is linked to autism.

Numerous studies have addressed vaccines and autism and found no link, including with the preservative thimerosal.

Drug companies, and the Obama administration, argue that the claims should be decided by a special vaccine court that was set up 24 years ago to insure a stable vaccine supply by shielding companies from most lawsuits.

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