Last September, a Milan Court held in favor of plaintiffs that claimed that three doses of the hexavalent GlaxoSmithKline vaccine Infanrix Hexa that were administered to an infant beginning in 2006 caused autism later when he was a young boy. The vaccine is used for polio, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, whooping cough and haemophilus influenzae type B.
After hearing from several medical experts, the court ruled that the child likely suffered autism and brain damage as a result of the vaccine’s content of mercury and aluminum, combined with a genetic mutation in the child rendering greater susceptibility. The ruling ordered damages to be paid by the Italian government’s national vaccine injury compensation program. The court’s decision was also based upon GlaxoSmithKline’s list of possible adverse events resulting from the vaccine, which included five cases of autism during clinical trials.
Today in the U.S., most vaccines routinely given to children under 6 years of age are free of thimerosal, a mercury-derived preservative.