Blogcritics weighs in with a very generous review of The Panic Virus…and one that takes particular note of a section on the Vaccine Court, the subject of much misunderstanding and some recent discussion:
While The Panic Virus has a lot of information, Mnookin relates it in such a way that makes for a fairly quick read – and one that is compelling enough that I had a hard time putting the book down. … He demystifies the Vaccine Injury Court, a special court the government has established that is funded by pharmaceutical companies and provides patients who suffer from known side-effects of vaccines (and, as with any medical procedure or treatment, there are some) can present their claims and receive pre-determined settlements depending on the nature and severity of their injury.
He also shows how the initial concern cited by Andrew Wakefield – the British researcher whose work sparked the controversy and was recently declared fraudulent by the British General Medical Council – that the measles component of the MMR vaccine caused gastrointestinal distress leading to autism, morphed over time into the idea that it was thimerosal (a mercury-based preservative) in the vaccine that was the cause.
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