The U.S. government is paying a Georgia family $1.5 million, plus at least another $500,000 per year, after their daughter received nine vaccinations in one day, and soon afterwards began showing signs of autism.  Sources close to the case say the compensation could easily reach $20 million or more over the course of the child’s life.

Hannah Poling, who is now 11, was said to be a happy, normal, child.  In the summer of 2000, when she was 18 months old, she received vaccinations for measles, rubella, mumps, polio, varicella, pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, and Haemophilus influenzae, during one doctor’s visit.

Hannah soon had high fevers and lost her appetite. She stopped responding when spoken to, threw screaming fits, and symptoms of autism appeared.  Two years later, her family filed a claim with the federal vaccine court.

The case was settled before it went to trial, and the records sealed. It has taken more than two years for the government and the parents to agree on compensation.

In Hannah’s case, the government says that she had an unknown mitochondrial disorder that the vaccines aggravated, resulting in symptoms similar to autism. This settlement and award does not confirm a link between vaccines and autism, it just acknowledges that the higher than usual number of vaccines given to Hannah in one day, aggravated an existing disorder she had.

The mainstream medical community maintains that there is no link between vaccinations and autism. However, many parents of autistic children link the onset of symptoms with their children receiving vaccinations. No case alleging that vaccines caused a child’s autism have been won. Almost 5000 of these cases are currently pending.

It’s not known how many other children may have a disorder similar to Hannah’s.