The European Union Court of Justice ruled that defective vaccines can be blamed for allowing patients to become ill, even if there’s no evidence. The decision comes after a man’s family sued Sanofi Pasteur after he contracted multiple sclerosis.

The case was first brought to France’s Court of Appeal, then to the Court of Cassation and finally to the European Union.

Image credit: Sergei Chuzavkov / AP
Image credit: Sergei Chuzavkov / AP

The EU Court of Justice determined that vaccines did not “offer the safety that one is entitled to expect,” although they did not specifically address the case brought up in France.

The EU issued a major ruling despite lack of evidence

The case in question refers to a man addressed in the court’s resolution as J.W., who received a hepatitis B vaccine in 1998. One year later, J.W. was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, leading him and his family to sue the vaccine’s manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur, arguing that the vaccine caused the disease.

They claim that before receiving the vaccine, J.W. was perfectly healthy.

The French Court of Appeal determined that there was no link between the vaccine and multiple sclerosis, based on many studies that have found no association between the two.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assures that hepatitis B vaccination does not cause multiple sclerosis, citing a French study held in 1994 and another two held in the United States. None of them supported any type of association between the hepatitis B vaccine and developing multiple sclerosis.

Although there are numerous studies showing no evidence of a relation between the disease and the application of a vaccine, the EU’s top court declared that the vaccines can be considered defective if the individual has no family history of sclerosis and if the patient was healthy before the vaccine was administered. Also, the court stated that there are several cases of the disease occurring after the application of the vaccine, citing this fact as the most probable explanation.

J.W. died from sclerosis in 2011, however, this is not the only disease involved in the “anti-vax’ controversy. Around the globe, parents are claiming that these “defective” vaccines may be the cause of many diseases such as cancer, autism and sudden infant death syndrome.

A global campaign against scientific principle

Despite its newfound notoriety, the anti-vax controversy goes back to 1998, when a study published by Andrew Wakefield claimed that the measles-mumps-rubeola (MMR) vaccine can cause child autism. This study was merely statistic and not backed-up by a clinical trial. Additionally, the study relied on just 12 subjects and was criticized for its “uncontrolled design and the speculative nature of the conclusions,” according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

The vaccine-autism hypothesis became more relevant in 2007 when actress Jenny McCarthy stated on Oprah Winfrey’s show her theory that the MMR vaccine caused her son’s autism. Another case occurred in 2008 when, a federal judge provided a compensation to Hannah Poling’s family, who was diagnosed with mitochondrial disorder shortly after receiving 5 vaccines even if seven large studies have determined that there is no correlation between autism spectrum disorder and the administration of the MMR vaccine.

California protesters against SB 277, which requires schoolchildren to get vaccinated. Image credit: Rich Pedroncelli / AP
California protesters against SB 277, which requires schoolchildren to get vaccinated. Image credit: Rich Pedroncelli / AP

In March, the World Health Organization confirmed that vaccines are safe, but vaccination rates keep dropping in different countries, transforming the anti-vax movement into a dangerous stream of biased ideas against traditional medicine.

“It is far more likely to be seriously injured by a vaccine-preventable disease than by a vaccine. For example, in the case of polio, the disease can cause paralysis, measles can cause encephalitis and blindness, and some vaccine-preventable diseases can even result in death,” stated the WHO.

In Italy, the government ruled that children must be vaccinated against 12 common illnesses before they are admitted in state schools; parents who do not vaccinate their kids will be fined. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni assures that the anti-vax movement is based on “anti-scientific theories.” Besides, the rates of measles infections in Italy have tripled compared to last year’s.

The WHO’s guidelines suggest that at least 95 percent of two-year-olds should be vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. Currently, the rate in Italy is lower than 80 percent, reporting more than 200 cases just in January. Romania reported 3,400 cases since January 2016. The vaccination rates are also dropping in France, Poland, Ukraine, Switzerland, Poland, and Germany.

“I urge all endemic countries to take urgent measures to stop transmission of measles within their borders, and all countries that have already achieved this to keep up their guard and sustain high immunisation coverage,” stated WHO’ European director Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab.

Some pediatricians are trying to fight this by not receiving kids unless they are vaccinated. Doctors claim that one of the most concerning consequences of the situation is the possible resurgence of polio as well as the outbreaks of many dangerous diseases who were already under control thanks to vaccines.

Source: CNN