Advertisement

Vaccine Safety in Children: Huge Benefit, Minimal Risks

August 12, 2014

Vaccine Safety in Children: Huge Benefit, Minimal Risks

  1. Louis M. Bell, MD

In a systematic review, serious adverse events were rare, not unexpected, and mostly resolved completely.

  1. Louis M. Bell, MD

The Rand Corporation updated a 2011 Institute of Medicine consensus report on vaccine safety (National Academies Press 2011). To do so, they performed a systematic review of evidence published from 2010 to August 2013. Of 20,478 possible articles, 67 met inclusion criteria. The combined data revealed the following:

Concerning adverse events associated with vaccines:

  • Hepatitis A vaccine: Moderate evidence of an association with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) only in older children (age 7–17 years).

  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine: Strong evidence of an association with febrile seizure. Moderate evidence of an association with ITP.

  • Pneumococcal (PCV13) vaccine: Moderate evidence of an association with febrile seizure (estimated rates for infants aged 16 months, 13.7 per 100,000 doses for PCV13 alone and 45 per 100,000 for PVC13 combined with influenza trivalent inactivated vaccine).

  • Rotavirus vaccine: Moderate evidence of an association with intussusception (estimated rate, 1–5 cases per 100,000 doses).

Equally important: What is not associated with vaccines:

  • High-quality evidence that MMR vaccine is not associated with autism.

  • No vaccines studied were associated with childhood leukemia.

  • Moderate evidence that DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis) vaccine is not associated with diabetes mellitus and hepatitis B vaccination is not associated with multiple sclerosis.

  • Moderate evidence that Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b) vaccine is not associated with serious adverse events.

Comment

This study should reassure everyone that vaccines are safe, that adverse events are rare, and in most cases will resolve completely. Transparency about adverse events may provide reassurance of the benefit of immunizations. If these data do not reassure parents, at least clinicians can speak with confidence of the safety and importance of vaccines for the health of children.

  • Disclosures for Louis M. Bell, MD at time of publication Grant / Research support Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award; National Center for Pediatric Practice Based Research Learning Editorial boards Current Problems in Pediatric Adolescent Healthcare

Citation(s):

Your Comment

(will not be published)

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Do you have any conflict of interest to disclose?
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Vertical Tabs

* Required

Reader comments are intended to encourage lively discussion of clinical topics with your peers in the medical community. We ask that you keep your remarks to a reasonable length, and we reserve the right to withhold publication of remarks that do not meet this standard.

PRIVACY: We will not use your email address, submitted for a comment, for any other purpose nor sell, rent, or share your e-mail address with any third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement