All those vaccines that children get in the early years are very safe, and adverse side-effects are very rare, a large review of vaccine safety finds. The federal government commissioned the California-based RAND Corporation to review all that’s known about the battery of childhood vaccines to reassure people who still have their doubts. “Concerns about vaccine safety have led some parents to decline recommended vaccination of their children, leading to the resurgence of diseases,” RAND’s Dr. Courtney Gidengil and colleagues wrote in their report, published in the journal Pediatrics.
“We found evidence that some vaccines are associated with serious adverse events; however, these events are extremely rare and must be weighed against the protective benefits that vaccines provide.” The worst adverse events include a very rare intestinal blockage called intussusception caused by the rotavirus vaccine and a rare blood disorder called thrombocytopenic purpura linked with the chickenpox and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. But there’s no evidence linking vaccines with leukemia or autism, despite persistent rumors, the researchers found.
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- Maggie Fox
First published June 30 2014, 9:33 PM
Maggie Fox is senior health writer for NBC News and TODAY, writing top news on health policy, medical treatments and disease.
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She's a former managing editor for healthcare and technology at National Journal and global health and science editor for Reuters based in Washington, D.C. and London.
She's reported for news agencies, radio, newspapers, magazines and television from across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe covering news ranging from war to politics and, of course, health and science. Her reporting has taken Maggie to Lebanon, Syria and Libya; to China, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Pakistan; to Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia and to Ireland and Northern Ireland and across the rest of Europe.
Maggie has won awards from the Society of Business Editors and Writers, the National Immunization Program, the Overseas Press Club and other organizations. She's done fellowships at Harvard Medical School, the National Institutes of Health and the University of Maryland.