Vaccines save lives. Due to the success of our nation's vaccination program, parents today have not witnessed the devastating effects of many diseases such as polio which paralyzed millions of children worldwide before the vaccine was created. This lack of first-hand knowledge may lull parents into believing that your children are safe from vaccine-preventable diseases. However, there are still many diseases that still exist in the U.S. and the world. Measles still infects nearly 23 million people around the world annually and kills about 480,000 of them. Diseases such as hepatitis, whooping cough and diphtheria can still infect children in our country that are not immunized on time.
Some parents may consider delaying or refusing vaccinations because of conflicting information regarding the safety of some vaccines. Over the years claims have been made regarding the safety of some routine childhood vaccines suggesting that they are the cause of disorders such as autism. Top researchers from around the world have investigated each of these claims and have concluded that vaccines do not cause any chronic disorders. Unfortunately there are some organizations and individuals that continue to disseminate false information regarding the safety of vaccines, putting children at risk.
Listed below you will find links to materials that outline both the importance and safety of vaccines. Included are sites to visit to learn more about how vaccines are tested and recommended for the public, scientific studies, information about the IOM studies on vaccine safety, summaries of media coverage, and a list of credible organizations and recommended vaccine safety resources. We hope that this information will help to inform parents and others interested in the safety of vaccines.
Because vaccines are given to healthy individuals they undergo a more rigorous approval process than drugs which are given to cure sick people. Licensing of vaccines typically takes 15 years and an average of $500 million of manufacturers’ money. The Food and Drug Administration ensures the safety, purity, potency and effectiveness of vaccines. For more information about how vaccines are approved for use, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/acip/default.htm
Because immunizations are the best method to insure that children are protected from deadly diseases, the government recommends them for the general public, as opposed to other medicines which are prescribed by individual physicians. Doctors use what is called an “immunization schedule” to determine which vaccine to give to your baby at each visit. The immunization schedule is created and regularly reviewed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The ACIP consists of 15 experts in fields associated with immunization who have been selected by the Secretary of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide advice and guidance to the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the most effective means to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases.
The Committee develops written recommendations for immunizing children and adults, along with appropriate scheduling, dosage, and contraindications (reasons not to vaccinate) for each vaccine. For more information on the ACIP please go to http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/acip/default.htm
This section provides abstracts of peer-reviewed studies that have looked at the possible relationship between vaccines and autism. In addition, this section provides a chart of the most recent peer-reviewed scientific studies on thimerosal and autism.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies is a nonprofit organization that was specifically created to give unbiased, science-based advice on matters of biomedical science, medicine, and health. Finding of the IOM are presented in this section.
Abstracts of recent vaccine-related media articles and books are provided in this section.
ECBT considers an organization to be credible if their materials, advice, practices and policies are based upon scientifically-valid, peer-reviewed studies and research. Click here to view a list of credible organizations.