Did you know that there is a Vaccine Study Center that dedicates itself to studying and ensuring vaccines are safe? I didn’t either until I started doing some research.
The Kaiser Permanent Vaccine Study Center has recently confirmed the safety of the HPV4 vaccine for adolescents, but more important to the current measles outbreak, they have proven in a study – over TWELVE years – that the measles vaccine is safe.
The Kaiser Permanent Vaccine Study Center conducted a study on children ages 12 to 23 months who received the measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) or the MMR+V vaccine – which is separately administered, same-day measles-mumps-rubella and varicella vaccines – over a period of twelve years from January 2000 to June 2012. Their findings were published in Pediatrics Journal and determined that adverse outcomes were highly unlikely after either of these vaccines. The researchers evaluated the results of 123,200 MMRV does and 584,987 MMR+V vaccines, and determined there to be no new safety concerns after the vaccine, and no increased risk of seven main neurological, blood, or immune system disorders.
Lead author of the study, Nicola P. Klein, MD, PhD and co-director of the Vaccine Study Center reported, “In fact, there were few or zero events for several outcomes following vaccination. These findings indicate that even if an increased risk for these outcomes exists, the risk is low and rare. This should reassure parents that these outcomes are unlikely after either vaccine.”
The study did confirm previous findings that the MMRV and MMR+V vaccines are associated with fever in some children, and in very few cases (less than one per 1,000 injections) febrile seizures 7-10 days post injection. These occur more with the MMRV than the MMR+V vaccine, so parents with a child under the age of 1 who may be concerned about fever or febrile seizures may consider choosing the MMR+V vaccine.
Dr. Klein wants parents to be reassured that vaccines continue to be monitored and if any safety problems exist, they will be detected. “Our findings offer reassurance that adverse outcomes of measles-containing vaccines are extremely rare and unlikely.”
Vaccinations are clearly a hot topic, and very emotionally charged. My only advice is to follow the science. When it comes to public health, it’s never just about your child. There are many that cannot be vaccinated due to more serious health risks, and we have a responsibility to them too.
Take heart that they are truly making an effort to ensure safety of the vaccines.