Navigation Links
Childhood Vaccine Schedule Is Safe, Report Says

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The standard vaccine schedule for young children in the United States is safe and effective, a new review says.

The report, issued Wednesday by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) at the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the first to look at the entire vaccine schedule as opposed to just individual vaccines. The current vaccine schedule entails 24 vaccines given before the age of 2, averaging one to five shots during a single doctor visit.

"The committee found no evidence that the childhood immunization schedule is not safe," said Ada Sue Hinshaw, chair of the committee that produced the report and dean of the Graduate School of Nursing at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md.

"The evidence repeatedly points to the health benefits of the schedule, including preventing children and their communities from life-threatening diseases," added Hinshaw, who spoke at a Wednesday news conference to introduce the report.

The series of vaccines are designed to protect against a range of diseases, including measles, mumps, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, meningitis and hepatitis.

However, some expressed reservations about the report.

"The IOM Committee has done a good job outlining core parental concerns about the safety of the U.S. child vaccine schedule and identifying the large knowledge gaps that cause parents to continue to ask doctors questions they can't answer," said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), a nonprofit organization "advocating for the institution of vaccine safety and informed consent protections in the public health system."

But, she added, "The most shocking part of this report is that the committee could only identify fewer than 40 studies published in the past 10 years that addressed the current 0-6-year-old child vaccine schedule. We still don't know if the doubling of the numbers of doses of vaccines that children are given since 1982 is associated with health problems in premature infants or development of chronic brain and immune system disorders, such as asthma, atopy, allergy, autoimmunity, autism, learning disorders, communication disorders, developmental disorders, intellectual disability, attention-deficit disorder, disruptive behavior disorder, tics and Tourette's syndrome, seizures, febrile seizures and epilepsy."

An enduring furor over the safety of vaccines was largely instigated by research published in 1998 -- and since retracted -- by British physician Dr. Andrew Wakefield that the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine was linked with the development of autism.

Wakefield's research has been discredited but concerns about vaccination safety linger.

The majority of American children -- 90 percent -- receive all the recommended childhood vaccinations by the time they enter kindergarten, the report stated.

But there are parents who choose to delay vaccinations, space them out or forgo them entirely, often as the result of concerns about the safety of the vaccine itself or worries about giving too many injections at one time.

The committee preparing the report looked at available research and also talked to parents, clinicians, advocacy groups and representatives from various U.S. health agencies, as well as agencies from other countries.

Among the factors considered: number of vaccines, frequency and order of administration, spacing between doses, cumulative doses, age of recipient and any relationship on autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, asthma and allergies, seizures and development disorders including autism, said committee member Dr. Alfred Berg, a professor of family medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

Although the committee found the vaccine schedule did not appear to do any harm, it did point out areas for improvement.

While current systems designed to detect any safety problems are good, they could be expanded, the committee stated. And there are further areas for research, such as identifying any populations who may potentially be susceptible to harm from vaccines, said Dr. Pauline Thomas, another committee member and an associate professor of preventive medicine and community health at New Jersey Medical School in Newark.

And the National Vaccine Program Office, which coordinates the various federal agencies involved in immunization activities, should "systematically collect and assess information about stakeholder [such as parents'] concerns," said Berg.

Loe Fisher said the NVIC supported the call for more investigation into the issue of public confidence in the childhood vaccination schedule.

But the NVIC did not agree with the committee's recommendations that prospective trials are not useful for examining vaccination safety. Instead, it called for more research using existing databases, she said.

More information

Learn more about the report at the Institute of Medicine.

SOURCES: Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president, National Vaccine Information Center; Jan. 16, 2013, news conference with Ada Sue Hinshaw, R.N., Ph.D., dean and professor, Graduate School of Nursing, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md.; Alfred Berg, M.D., professor, family medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle; and Pauline Thomas, M.D., associate professor, preventive medicine and community health, New Jersey Medical School, Newark; Jan. 16, 2013, The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New study identifies promising, achievable solutions to Nigerias childhood mortality crisis
2. Symptomatic behaviour in childhood strongly predicts psychiatric treatment as a young adult
3. Study identifies potential treatment for lethal childhood leukemia
4. Childhood Obesity May Raise Odds of Adult Liver Cancer
5. IADR/AADR publish studies on severe early childhood caries - proposes new classification
6. Could the Childhood Obesity Epidemic Be Ebbing?
7. Better health in adulthood starts with early prevention in childhood
8. Environment key to preventing childhood disabilities
9. Treating childhood obesity: A family affair
10. Pneumonia and preterm birth complications are the leading causes of childhood death
11. Experimental Drug Helps Fight Some Childhood Cancers, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Childhood Vaccine Schedule Is Safe, Report Says
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Holcomb – Kreithen Plastic Surgery and ... in Florida, is proud to announce that Dr. Joshua Kreithen, one of its ... a Johnson & Johnson Company. , Ethicon is a global medical device company ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Vasont ... their Vasont Universal Integrator (VUI) extension unites with Syncro Soft’s latest software update, ... as a continuous process with the latest release of oXygen® XML editor and ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... be of critical importance to the medical schools of the future. To reach ... healthcare suite at the 2015 ChangeMedEd conference in Chicago, organized by the American ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Innovaacom, a leading provider of ... a survey of educational needs for pharmacists worldwide. The poll of pharmacists in ... high quality online and face-to-face education for pharmacists who are fast becoming the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Several significant coding-related changes are ... likely to include new codes for spine and hip X-rays, paravertebral facet blocks ... of code changes in musculoskeletal, radiology and nervous system sections on an Orthopedic ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... YORK , November 27, 2015 ... system is set to go online. The potential to ... processes is vast and far from fully exploited as ... to patient health records, either via mobile tablet or ... ) --> ) --> ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has ... Market 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... report, the author the present scenario and growth prospects ... calculate the market size, the report considers revenue generated ... IUDs and copper IUDs. The report forecasts the global ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 Un nuevo enfoque combina ... el cáncer avanzado.   --> Un ... de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado.   ... con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer ... --> Clinical Cancer Research . --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: