LEIGH MP Andy Burnham has described a landmark ruling in Italy as a significant development in the campaign for vaccine-damaged children.
For years the British medical establishment has denied links between the MMR vaccine and autism.
But a judge in Italy this week awarded damages to the family of a nine-year-old saying that the triple jab for mumps, measles and rubella had been to blame for his being autistic.
Of equal significance is the fact that the inoculation the child received as a healthy baby was manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and was also available in Britain.
Golborne mum Jackie Fletcher, who set up the Jabs group almost 20 years ago after her own son Robert developed numerous medical conditions shortly after having his MMR as a baby, said that the authorities could no longer ignore the mounting evidence.
Shadow Health Secretary Mr Burnham said that he would be referring the Italian case to his opposite number in Government, Andrew Lansley, describing it as potentially a “significant development.”
Mrs Fletcher - who says she does not want to scare people away from vaccines altogether, but rather have single jabs - today said she was encouraged by the news.
She added: “Whenever anyone has contacted the UK’s Vaccine Damage Unit and mentioned autism it has gone straight in the bin. It is so difficult to get past the grey suits when autism is involved but this case deserves to be investigated, not dismissed.”
Mr Burnham said: “I have not had the chance to read a translation of the Italian ruling but it sounds like a significant development.
“We will want to meet Jackie to discuss this further and shall refer the matter also to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
“We only ever act on medical evidence and if that evidence changes then we have an obligation to look at an issue again.”