WASHINGTON: Some childhood vaccines are linked to serious side effects, but they are quite rare and do not include autism, food allergies or cancer, said a review of scientific literature Tuesday.
A host of vaccines commonly given to children under age six were the focus of the systematic review of rigorously conducted studies, published in the peer-reviewed US journal Pediatrics.
The report seeks to address a rising trend of vaccine hesitancy among parents in the United States and Europe, which has led to a resurgence of measles and whooping cough in some parts of the world.
“We found that serious adverse events that are linked to vaccines are really rare, and that when they do occur they are often not necessarily severe,” said study co-author Courtney Gidengil, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital and professor at Harvard Medical School.
“We think this adds to the body of evidence that the benefits really do seem to clearly outweigh the low risk of serious side effects from vaccines,” she told AFP.
The study expands on a 2011 report by the Institute of Medicine that also pointed to some side effects linked to vaccines but found “few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines.”
The Pediatrics report includes several vaccines that were not studied by the IOM, including those against hepatitis A, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), polio, rotavirus and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.