Current Controversies in the USA Regarding Vaccine Safety

Archana Chatterjee; Catherine O'Keefe

Disclosures

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2010;9(5):497-502. 

In This Article

Five-year View

Although well-designed, statistically valid, scientific research studies have refuted many of the claimed adverse effects associated with vaccines, a portion of the public remains concerned regarding the safety of these life-saving products. Unfortunately, these controversial claims are not likely to disappear in the future. As medical science progresses and new vaccines are introduced, it is only to be expected that more controversies surrounding their safety will develop. Particular interest is likely to be focused on vaccine additives and adjuvants such as aluminum and squalene. While the vaccine–MMR/thimerosal debate appears to be abating, new concerns have arisen regarding the possible association between vaccine adjuvants/multiple vaccines given simultaneously and the development of autism spectrum disorders. Fears regarding vaccines and various disorders without clear-cut etiologies such as Alzheimer's disease, other forms of dementia, neuropsychiatric illnesses, learning disabilities, rheumatoid diseases, macrophagic myofasciitis and Gulf War Syndrome[108–110] are also gaining attention. It is, therefore, imperative that healthcare providers be prepared to respond to patient and parent anxieties related to these emerging concerns.

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