Vaccines don't cause autism, but aren't perfect: Report

HPV vaccine generic girl getting shot AP

HPV vaccine generic girl getting shot
AP

(CBS/AP) Autism's purported link to childhood vaccines has been debunked - again.

The Institute of Medicine says there's no link between vaccines and autism and Type 1 Diabetes, as some have speculated. The Institute says they can cause side effects including seizures - but only rarely.

And experts hope the report will finally put a sock in the mouth of the ever-vocal anti-vaccine movement.

"I am hopeful that it will allay some people's concerns," said Dr. Ellen Wright Clayton, professor of pediatrics and law from Vanderbilt University, who chaired the panel.

Pictures: 10 deadly myths about childhood vaccines

The Institute says its vaccine report is its first comprehensive safety review in 17 years, prompted by the government's Vaccine Injury Compensation program that pays damages to people injured by vaccines.

"Vaccines are important tools in preventing serious infectious disease across the lifespan," Clayton said. "All health care interventions, however, carry the possibility of risk and vaccines are no exception."

The report cleared flu shots' suspected link to Bell's palsy and asthma and examined more than 100 other possible side effects, only to find "convincing evidence" of the following 14 side effects linked to vaccines:

  • Fever-triggered seizures from the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine - which rarely cause long-term consequences

  • Brain inflammation in some people with immune problems, also from MMR

  • Viral infection from the chickenpox varicella vaccine resulting in widespread chickenpox or its painful relative, shingles.

  • Pneumonia, hepatitis or meningitis, occasionally results from varicella vaccine

  • Severe allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis from six vaccines: MMR, chickenpox, hepatitis B, meningococcal and tetanus.

  • Fainting or a type of shoulder inflammation also generally linked to vaccines

There's also evidence of short-term joint pain in some women and children from the MMR vaccine, and anaphylaxis from the human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccine - but the Institute says there's no proof.

Click here to see more of  HealthPOP's vaccine coverage.

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