In the most comprehensive report of its kind to date, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) concludes that few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines. Prompted by concerns over supposed links to autism and other serious conditions, a committee of experts formed by the Institute of Medicine analyzed more than 1,000 research studies on the possible adverse effects of vaccines. The 16-member committee found that risks are rare, usually not life-threatening, and often easily treated. The evidence also shows there are no links between immunization and some conditions that have raised concerns, including Type 1 diabetes and autism.

The committee members noted that in many countries, deaths and disability due to infectious diseases have been dramatically reduced over the last century since the majority of vaccines were developed and brought into widespread use. There are places around the world, however, where people are still in need of life-saving vaccines.

The Sabin Vaccine Institute is at the forefront of the effort to make vaccines available to all people who need them. We advocate for the use of existing vaccines to reduce needless suffering caused by vaccine preventable and neglected tropical diseases. Sabin is also in the process of developing new vaccines to help control and eliminate diseases of poverty.

More information about the NAS vaccine study can be found on the project website and in this Washington Post story.