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Systematic Review of Vaccine Safety May Allay Parents' Concerns

7/1/2014 For Release: July 1, 2014

A systematic review of research on vaccine safety, published online July 1 in Pediatrics, updates a 2011 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on the safety of vaccines recommended for children aged six years and younger. The study, "Safety of Vaccines Used for Routine Immunization of U.S. Children: A Systematic Review," to be published in the August 2014 Pediatrics, is part of a larger report on the safety of vaccines for adults, adolescents and children requested by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Researchers from the RAND Corporation conducted a systematic review of the evidence published since the IOM report on vaccines for children under age 6, including DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, meningococcal, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), and varicella vaccines. The report also reviews the evidence on several childhood vaccines that were not studied in the 2011 IOM report, including Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib), pneumococcal, rotavirus, and inactivated poliovirus vaccines. The evidence is strong that MMR vaccine is not associated with autism, which is consistent with previous reviews on the topic. Researchers also identified strong evidence that MMR, DTaP, Td (tetanus), Hib and hepatitis B vaccines are not associated with childhood leukemia. Studies did show an association of several serious adverse events with vaccines, but these events were very rare, such as intussusception after rotavirus vaccine. Researchers conclude the findings may allay concerns of some parents about vaccine safety.


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit