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The parents of a 9-year-old girl with autism said Thursday that their assertion that her illness was caused by childhood vaccines has been vindicated by the federal government's decision to compensate them.

"We are very pleased with the government's decision," Hannah Poling's father, Dr. Jon Poling, a neurologist in private practice in Athens, Georgia, told reporters Thursday. "It has been eight difficult and heartbreaking years since our daughter's injury."

A federal program intended to compensate victims of injuries caused by vaccines concluded last November that Hannah Poling's underlying illness that had predisposed her to symptoms of autism was "significantly aggravated" by the vaccinations she received as a toddler and that her family should therefore be compensated.

How much the compensation should be has not been decided. Watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta discuss the Polings' views

But public health officials quickly countered that the decision in no way supports the couple's claim. Read full article »

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