Considerable media activity in the United States has focused on one case of a child with mitochondrial disease who was diagnosed with encephalopathy some time after receiving 5 vaccines. The United States’ Vaccine Injury Compensation Program had awarded damages on the basis that the vaccinations had aggravated an underlying condition. The GACVS noted that all countries need to have the information and skills to deal with such pressures.
Mitochondrial diseases are inherited disorders of energy metabolism that tend to affect tissues with high energy requirements, such as the brain, heart and liver. These diseases are associated with a variety of symptoms. They are often difficult to diagnose, and there is no effective treatment. Mitochondrial disorders can also lead to cognitive impairment and encephalopathy, resulting in blunted social interaction.