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U.S.-Mandated Report Finds Vaccines Safe for Kids
Date:8/25/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- An exhaustive new report from experts at the Institute of Medicine finds that children's vaccines are typically safe, with bad reactions occurring only rarely and then not causing any lasting medical problems.

The IOM committee also agreed that there is no evidence supporting a connection between certain vaccines and the later onset of conditions such as autism or type 1 diabetes in kids.

The purported link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, especially, has been hotly contested, both in the media and the courts in recent years. In 2010, the British researcher behind a 1998 study that was pivotal in suggesting such a link was accused of fraud and the journal that published it has since retracted the research.

In its review, the IOM committee examined more than 1,000 studies, looking for problems possibly related to vaccines, such as seizures, inflammation of the brain and fainting, as well as longer-term issues.

"We looked at eight different vaccines and a number of adverse effects, and what we found is that there is very little evidence that vaccines cause adverse events," said committee chair Dr. Ellen Wright Clayton, professor of pediatrics and law, and director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University.

"And most of the adverse events that there is evidence for tend to be time-limited," she said.

The report was requested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide a scientific base for deciding on compensation for people claiming injury from any of the eight vaccines covered by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The program was set up in 1988, and last February the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 1986 law that created the program.

The report found evidence that in rare cases the MMR vaccine can lead to fever-triggered seizures, b
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