There are almost no risks to providing children with vaccinations. A review of over 20,000 studies has come to this conclusion, perhaps finally putting to rest the worries about giving children vaccinations.
Although many people believe that vaccines can cause autism, the studies found no evidence at all between the two things. There was also no link found between vaccines and childhood leukemia, as a previously done study supposedly found.
“Looking at all these mounds of data — there is still no data that show an association that shows vaccine and autism,” said Dr. Ari Brown an Austin, Texas-based pediatrician and author of the popular book “Baby 411,” who was not involved with the study. “I would love it to close this chapter and move on. I don’t think it will. But the more research, the more we learns about autism, the more we can reassure parents that there are no links here.”
However, some side effects to receiving vaccinations were found. Although extremely rare, certain childhood vaccines could lead to severe problems.
The meningococcal vaccine can lead to anaphylaxis if a child is allergic to a certain chemical found in the vaccine. The polio vaccine could make children more susceptible to developing a food allergy, and the MMR vaccine has been linked with seizures.
“Vaccines, like any other medication, aren’t 100% risk free,” said Brown.
“You have a sore arm, redness at the injection site. Those are the things we see commonly. Fortunately the serious adverse effects is extremely rare.”
Even though parents may be frightened of giving their children a vaccine that would produce nasty side effects, it is more dangerous for a child not to get vaccinated.
“By delaying the vaccines you’re putting your child at risk,” Brown said.
Vaccines protect both children and adults from diseases that could severely harm or even kill them.
“There were good reasons that these diseases were targeted for vaccine development since they are so life-threatening,” said Dr. Carrie Byington, vice-chair for research in the University of Utah’s pediatrics department, and the new chair for the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on infectious diseases.
One such disease was smallpox, which claimed the lives of many children before a vaccine was developed. But, because so many people received the vaccine as infants, the US has declared smallpox eradicated since 1978.
Other such diseases, such as the measles, were also essentially eradicated due to vaccinations, but are now making a come back because parents are too afraid to provide their children with the vaccines.
“That is particularly concerning for me,” Byington said. “Young residents may be in the same position as young parents who have trained at a time, or lived at a time, when these diseases were extremely rare, and they may not have ever seen how serious a vaccine-preventable infection can be.”
The research as published in the medical journal Pediatrics.