A Systematic Review of vaccine safety studies has been published in Pediatrics (full article available free here). Get ready for a shocker! The review found strong evidence against an association of MMR vaccination and Autism. The review also found that adverse events (side-effects) from vaccines were ‘extremely rare’, although some of the studies reviewed lacked good reporting of these events (see study for more explanation). The review goes through almost all of the common vaccinations one by one and explains the associated data. Very nice!
CONCLUSIONS: We found evidence that some vaccines are associated with serious AEs; however, these events are extremely rare and must be weighed against the protective benefits that vaccines provide.
A news article from Liz Szabo on USA Today is a great summary of the review and includes nice quotes and statistics.
“There is a lot of misinformation out there about vaccines,” says co-author Margaret Maglione, also a researcher with Rand. “With the rise of the Internet and the decline of print journalism, anyone can put anything on the Internet.”
Like all drugs, vaccines can cause serious side effects. But those complications are “extremely rare” and should be weighed against vaccination’s enormous benefits, Maglione says.
In an April report, the CDC noted that vaccines given to infants and young children over the past two decades will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes.