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New 700-page report says vaccine side-effects are rare, should be considered safe

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XiaNaphryz

LATIN, MATRIPEDICABUS, DO YOU SPEAK IT
yourlife.usatoday.com/health/medical/story/2011-08-25/Report-Vaccines-generally-safe-some-side-effects-/50136150/1

Common childhood immunizations do not cause chronic diseases such as autism and diabetes, finds a new expert report that may ease parents' fears about the safety of vaccines.

Authors of the nearly 700-page report, released Thursday, say they took pains to carefully consider virtually every potential complication. While all drugs have side effects, the report notes that vaccine-related complications are extremely rare. Overall, vaccines' enormous benefits far outweigh the risks, says study co-author S. Claiborne Johnston of the University of California-San Diego.

"We're talking about millions of doses of vaccines, and only a few case reports of these rare events," Johnston says.


Some parents today are skipping or delaying their children's shots based on unfounded fears, says Austin pediatrician Ari Brown, a spokeswoman on vaccines for the American Academy of Pediatrics. She was not involved in the new report.

Parents, doctors or others can report possible vaccine side effects to a national database, called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. But there's little evidence that any of these problems are caused by vaccines, Brown says. In many cases, what seems like a side effect or allergic reaction is actually just a coincidence.

Many suspected side effects are so rare that doctors can't even estimate how vaccines might increase or decrease the risk of developing them, the report says.

Brown praised the report — and the 12,000 peer-reviewed studies behind it. She notes that vaccines have been scrutinized more carefully than virtually any other medication.
As a pediatrician, she says she's seen kids have allergic reactions to many medications, including the antibiotics that many parents demand during cold season.

Parents' refusal of vaccines is allowing once-forgotten diseases to re-emerge, says William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, who wasn't involved in the new report.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that unvaccinated people are fueling the current measles epidemic, which has affected 193 people so far this year. That's more than three times the usual number of measles cases for an entire year.

"People forget what these diseases are like," says Ellen Clayton, chair of the committee and director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. "When I was a resident, we had a child in the hospital with tetanus. You don't want to see that happen."


Clayton says her committee wanted to make safety data easily available, so that parents can make informed decisions. The CDC also publishes a "Pink Book" with detailed vaccine information on its website.

The Institute of Medicine "reviewed all of the data as is humanly possible, and it's very reassuring," says Greg Poland, a professor of infectious disease at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who wasn't involved with the report. "Serious side effects are very, very rare."

Some of the most common side effects of vaccines are minor annoyances, such as sore arms or fainting, Johnston says.

Authors made a handful of definitive conclusions. In spite of rumors to the contrary, for example, evidence clearly shows that flu shots don't trigger asthma attacks or cause a type of facial paralysis called Bell's palsy. However, data do show that getting a combined measles-mumps-rubella shot can increase the risk of fever-related seizures in children, a frightening but benign condition that does no lasting harm. It occurs in 4% of children under age 5.


Yet getting the measles also increases the risk of these seizures, as well as many more serious problems, Schaffner says.

When serious side effects do occur, they're usually in children with known risks, such as immune deficiencies, Johnston says.

Vaccines still pose little threat to these kids, however, because pediatricians know not to give them certain shots, Schaffner says.

In many ways, vaccines today are far safer than in past generations, says Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who wasn't involved in the new report. For example, the polio shots that children receive today are much safer than the liquid medicines given to their parents. Children today also get a whooping cough shot that's less likely to cause allergic reactions. And smallpox shots, which could in rare cases cause death, haven't been given for decades.

Poland says he hopes the report helps to ease parents' fears and help them put aside worries about vaccine safety. The Institute of Medicine has reviewed the issue 11 times in the past 25 years. While all of the authors have scientific backgrounds, none are vaccine researchers.
 

jmdajr

Member
Vaccines have been safe for a long time. This isn't news. It's the people that don't take em that cause all these eradicated diseases to come back.
 

SRG01

Member
I love how these anti-vaccine people have seemingly forgotten how prevalent MMR was back in the day before vaccines came along.
 

XiaNaphryz

LATIN, MATRIPEDICABUS, DO YOU SPEAK IT
ReBurn said:
The more pages in the report the safer vaccines are?
Generally the longer a report, the more thorough the research and more results/data is being described. Not always the case, of course.
 
This is like the whole fake sugar causing cancer thing.

Of course it causes cancer when you inject massive amounts of it into lab rats, morons.
 

The Technomancer

card-carrying scientician
Gaborn said:
Vaccine conspiracy theorists are so STUPID. Seriously.
Seriously. I have a history of vaccine related problems in my family (close to irrefutably caused by the vaccine), I might consider not vaccinating my children just because of how horrific the side effects were, and even I think that in the vast vast vast majority of cases vaccines are completely harmless. I'm only worried because of the slight possibility of a genetic component.
 

dudeworld

Member
but guys what about that girl that got that weird walking disorder from the vaccine and then it turned out she faked the whole thing

SURELY IT MEANS SOMETHING
 
I'm not a vaccines cause whatever kinda person, but I'm glad people are keeping vaccines honest. Everything should be scrutinized these days and every day. People should be scrutinizing anti-depressants more, our court system, or government system, our private system, the doctors/medication relationship, the overuse of drugs.
Should it be scrutinized over false pretenses? No, but if it gets people to second guess putting something in the market, test again, test again and test again, then so be it.
 

jmdajr

Member
People don't know how to calculate risk. There are people out there who are afraid of vaccines and yet smoke constantly, drown themselves in alcohol, and eat excessive fat/sugary foods like there is no tomorrow.
 

XiaNaphryz

LATIN, MATRIPEDICABUS, DO YOU SPEAK IT
Mr. B Natural said:
I'm not a vaccines cause whatever kinda person, but I'm glad people are keeping vaccines honest. Everything should be scrutinized these days and every day. People should be scrutinizing anti-depressants more, our court system, or government system, our private system, the doctors/medication relationship, the overuse of drugs.
Should it be scrutinized over false pretenses? No, but if it gets people to second guess putting something in the market, test again, test again and test again, then so be it.
I thought vaccine makers were already doing this, given how bad things would go if anything went wrong? Vaccines aren't a US only thing either.
 

mckmas8808

Mckmaster uses MasterCard to buy Slave drives
Of course so. We pretty much knew this already. Glad to have another confrimation.
 

jett

D-Member
If it wasn't for this forum I never would've known there are people out there that think vaccines are unsafe.
 

The Technomancer

card-carrying scientician
jett said:
If it wasn't for this forum I never would've known there are people out there that think vaccines are unsafe.
They're linked to autism...somehow...I was never really sure where that came from.
 

xelios

Universal Access can be found under System Preferences
Gaborn said:
Vaccine conspiracy theorists are so STUPID. Seriously.


Yep.

This news is already known of course, but the more times it's confirmed the better.
 

mckmas8808

Mckmaster uses MasterCard to buy Slave drives
Mr. B Natural said:
I'm not a vaccines cause whatever kinda person, but I'm glad people are keeping vaccines honest. Everything should be scrutinized these days and every day. People should be scrutinizing anti-depressants more, our court system, or government system, our private system, the doctors/medication relationship, the overuse of drugs.
Should it be scrutinized over false pretenses? No, but if it gets people to second guess putting something in the market, test again, test again and test again, then so be it.


This was already happening.
 

the_id

Member
Refusing to vaccinate a child and exposing them to a risk of serious but preventable diseases to themselves and others should be considered as child abuse.

Fucking hippies.
 

levious

That throwing stick stunt of yours has boomeranged on us.
The_Technomancer said:
They're linked to autism...somehow...I was never really sure where that came from.


autistic behavior/tendencies don't really get noticed til around the same age as a major batch of vaccinations. "My child was fine before" is a common sentiment, it's just the easy thing to fixate on when struggling with the question of "why."
 

Veezy

que?
The_Technomancer said:
They're linked to autism...somehow...I was never really sure where that came from.
There's a great Ars Technica article about one part of the issue. The short version is, a doctor printed a report in a journal without getting his peer review on, with incorrect information, and that wasn't up to the editorial standards of the journal to begin with.

The journal came out later and said that there was actually zero link between autism and vaccines and that the article in question was bad science and shouldn't be used as any proof of anything.


Here's more reading, too.

EDIT:

levious said:
autistic behavior/tendencies don't really get noticed til around the same age as a major batch of vaccinations. "My child was fine before" is a common sentiment, it's just the easy thing to fixate on when struggling with the question of "why."
That, and we're better at finding it.
 

Orayn

Member
The_Technomancer said:
They're linked to autism...somehow...I was never really sure where that came from.
Andrew Wakefield's studies used an utterly implausible mechanism and incredibly faulty research methods. The others basically just use a bare assertion.
 

wrowa

Member
Orayn said:
There's an anti-vaccine contingent on GAF, even.
I have never experienced reasoning against vaccines in my entire life. Seriously. The thought of people arguing against vaccines is actually blowing my mind.
 
Why don't the anti-vaccine crowd all just go live somewhere together, free from the tyranny of medicine?

With any luck it would take care of the problem pretty quickly.
 

Orayn

Member
itsgreen said:
Let them... they probably go extinct anyway :)
Unfortunately, they'll break herd immunity and takes a lot of innocent people to the grave with them, and resurrect some long-dormant disease strains in the process...
 

Orayn

Member
Murkas said:
Hmmm that's tough, I'll still go with the vaccine theorists as they're actually playing russian roulette with the lives of children due to their stupid belief.
The health and safety of other peoples' children are sacrifices they're willing to make.
 

Veezy

que?
Murkas said:
Hmmm that's tough, I'll still go with the vaccine theorists as they're actually playing russian roulette with the lives of children due to their stupid belief.
Yes. It's more dangerous than that, though. They're playing Russian roulette with everybody's children. Herd immunity is a good thing.
 

Stinkles

Clothed, sober, cooperative
Gaborn said:
Vaccine conspiracy theorists are so STUPID. Seriously.

HOW DARE YOU

 
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