Vaccines Found to Be Relatively Safe

Reuters reported that after a close review of more than 1,000 research studies, a federal panel of experts concluded that vaccines cause very few side effects, and found no evidence that vaccines cause autism or type 1 diabetes. The report was issued by the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academies of Sciences. It 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 report was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help guide the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which provides a pool of money to take care of children who experience side effects from vaccines. Eight common vaccines were looked at: the combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP), varicella for chickenpox, influenza, hepatitis B, meningococcal, tetanus-containing vaccines, and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. These vaccines protect against many diseases, including measles, whooping cough, pneumococcal disease, hepatitis mumps, diphtheria, tetanus, chickenpox, meningitis, and cervical cancer.

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