Vaccines largely safe, U.S. expert panel finds
After a close review of more than 1,000 research studies, a federal panel of experts has concluded that vaccines cause very few side effects, and found no evidence that vaccines cause autism or type 1 diabetes.
The report, issued on Thursday by the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academies of Sciences, is the first comprehensive report on vaccine side effects since 1994.
Fears that vaccines might cause autism or other health problems have led some parents to skip vaccinating their children, despite repeated reassurances from health authorities. The concerns have also forced costly reformulations of many vaccines.
“We looked at more than 1,000 articles evaluating the epidemiological and biological evidence about whether vaccines cause side effects,” said committee chair Ellen Wright Clayton, professor of pediatrics and law, and director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
“The big take-home message is that we found only a few cases in which vaccines can cause adverse side effects, and the vast majority of those are short-term and self-limiting,” she said in a telephone interview. (Reuters)