Health and Science

Yes, Childhood Vaccines Are Safe, Review Finds

Maggie Fox
Ulrich Baumgarten | Getty Images

All those vaccines that children get in the early years are very safe, and adverse side-effects are very rare, a large review of vaccine safety finds. The federal government commissioned the California-based RAND Corporation to review all that's known about the battery of childhood vaccines to reassure people who still have their doubts.

"Concerns about vaccine safety have led some parents to decline recommended vaccination of their children, leading to the resurgence of diseases," RAND's Dr. Courtney Gidengil and colleagues wrote in their report, published in the journal Pediatrics. "We found evidence that some vaccines are associated with serious adverse events; however, these events are extremely rare and must be weighed against the protective benefits that vaccines provide."

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The worst adverse events include a very rare intestinal blockage called intussusception caused by the rotavirus vaccine and a rare blood disorder called thrombocytopenic purpura linked with the chickenpox and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. But there's no evidence linking vaccines with leukemia or autism, despite persistent rumors, the researchers found.

By Maggie Fox, NBC News