Thorough study likely won’t put vaccine worries to rest

The Seattle Times, August 26, 2011
A new report scrutinizing the risks of eight common vaccines is over 600 pages long, combs through more than 1,000 research papers, and is the best analysis of suspected vaccine-caused medical problems that's ever been done, says the high-powered committee that wrote it. Even so, it's not likely to end the contentious debate about vaccine safety in Washington state, which has the highest rate in the nation of children who enter school without the required vaccines. A hotly contested law passed this year bars parents from simply signing to exempt their children; starting this fall, they must include a doctor's certification that they've been informed of vaccines' risks and benefits. Ideally, worried parents would be able to turn to such a report for answers. In some cases, the committee, convened by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, delivered the goods. In 14 cases the panel examined, it found convincing evidence some vaccines can cause rare adverse events in certain people, including seizures, brain inflammation and fainting. Those problems were, in most cases, experienced by people with immune-system deficiencies. The committee also found the evidence doesn't support any connection between autism and the MMR vaccine for mumps, measles and rubella (German measles).

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