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The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety

Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies

; ; .

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-26702-1ISBN-10: 0-309-26702-1

Vaccines are among the most safe and effective public health interventions to prevent serious disease and death. Because of the success of vaccines, most Americans today have no firsthand experience with such devastating illnesses as polio or diphtheria. Health care providers who vaccinate young children follow a schedule prepared by the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Under the current schedule, children younger than six may receive as many as 24 immunizations by their second birthday. New vaccines undergo rigorous testing prior to receiving FDA approval; however, like all medicines and medical interventions, vaccines carry some risk.

Driven largely by concerns about potential side effects, there has been a shift in some parents' attitudes toward the child immunization schedule. The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety identifies research approaches, methodologies, and study designs that could address questions about the safety of the current schedule.

This report is the most comprehensive examination of the immunization schedule to date. The IOM authoring committee uncovered no evidence of major safety concerns associated with adherence to the childhood immunization schedule. Should signals arise that there may be need for investigation, however, the report offers a framework for conducting safety research using existing or new data collection systems.

Contents

This study was supported by Contract No. HHSP23337025T, Mod 2, between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project.

Suggested citation:

IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2013. The childhood immunization schedule and safety: Stakeholder concerns, scientific evidence, and future studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Copyright © 2013 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Bookshelf ID: NBK206948PMID: 24901198DOI: 10.17226/13563

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