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IOM Report on Adverse Effects of Vaccines

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) charged the Institute of Medicine (IOM) with providing a thorough review of the current medical and scientific evidence on vaccines and vaccine adverse events. The IOM Committee on Vaccines and Adverse Events released its report, "Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality" on August 25, 2011. This analysis will be used to update the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program’s (VICP) Vaccine Injury Table (VIT) and provide scientific basis for future review and decisions on VICP claims.

The IOM Committee used peer reviewed literature to review eight vaccines given to children or adults:

  • MMR
  • Varicella (for chickenpox)
  • Influenza
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Meningococcal
  • Diphtheria-toxoid-, tetanus toxoid-, and acellular pertussis-containing vaccines

There are no recommendations in this report, and the report does not address the benefits of vaccination. The findings indicate that these vaccines are generally very safe and that serious adverse events are quite rare. The IOM has conducted two similar extensive reviews in the past. The last one was published in 1994.

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