US Study: Vaccines are Safe

Posted August 25th, 2011 at 4:35 pm (UTC-5)
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An independent medical research group says its review of vaccine research shows the routine shots cause very few side effects and do not lead to Type 1 diabetes or autism.

The Institute of Medicine said Thursday its panel of experts analyzed more than 1,000 medical studies from nearly two decades of research.

The research is intended to help a government agency that provides compensation to children who have suffered health problems as a result of receiving vaccinations. But panel chief Ellen Wright Clayton said she hopes the report will also reassure some parents who have been worried about the safety of vaccines.

Some parents in the U.S. and Europe have recently chosen not to vaccinate their children or to delay common vaccinations, based on reports by a small but vocal contingent claiming the shots can cause Type 1 diabetes and autism.

A British doctor who published a study purporting to prove the link with autism was later found guilty of professional misconduct and banned from practicing medicine in Britain.

The Institute of Medicine experts did find that certain vaccines do in rare cases have serious side effects. For instance, the measles-mumps-rubella shot occasionally triggers fever-induced seizures or brain inflammation. But the experts said these effects tend not to cause long-term consequences.