The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case about the side effects of certain vaccines when the court convenes on Tuesday.
The case involves parents who say their daughter suffered serious health problems from a childhood vaccine and they want to be allowed to sue the manufacturer.
The case could open drug makers to a flood of lawsuits over vaccine side effects -- including the families of autistic children who believe mercury-based vaccines, such as thimerosal, are linked to autism.
"We very much wanted to make sure vaccine manufacturers are out of the line of lawsuits," Dr. O. Marion Burton, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, told Health News Daily. "Otherwise, we end up with nobody producing vaccines, and nobody making new vaccines."
Drug makers said studies show no link between vaccines and autism, including with the preservative thimerosal.