Vaccine Safety Information for Parents
Vaccines are held to the highest standard of safety. The United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history. Years of testing are required by law before a vaccine can be licensed. Once in use, vaccines are continually monitored for safety and efficacy.
Immunizations, like any medication, can cause adverse events. However, a decision not to immunize a child also involves risk. It is a decision to put the child and others who come into contact with him or her at risk of contracting a disease that could be dangerous or deadly. Consider measles. One out of 30 children with measles develops pneumonia. For every 1,000 children who get the disease, one or two will die from it. Thanks to vaccines, we have few cases of measles in the U.S. today. However the disease is extremely contagious, and each year dozens of cases are imported from abroad into the U.S., threatening the health of people who have not been vaccinated and those from whom the vaccine was not effective.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continually work to make already safe vaccines even safer. In the rare event that a child is injured by a vaccine, he or she may be compensated through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) or call 1-800-338-2382.