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Understanding Vaccines and Vaccine Safety

Understanding Vaccine Safety

The fact sheets below provide information about vaccine testing, safety, monitoring, and the process for establishing the U.S. immunization schedule.

These materials are intended to help health care professionals keep up to date on vaccine topics. The sheets may also be distributed to parents wanting in-depth information on these topics after talking to their child’s doctor. Most sheets include references and published scientific studies.

Printed size: 8-1/2″x 11″, 2 pages
Commercial printer files available upon request

Understanding MMR Vaccine Safety

(Updated Feb 2013; posted Apr 2013)

Addresses common questions about the MMR vaccine, including those related to side effects and effectiveness.

Understanding How Vaccines Work

(Reviewed Aug 2018; posted Aug 2018)

Explains how the immune system responds to vaccines to build immunity.

Ensuring the Safety of Vaccines in the United States

(Updated Jan 2018; posted Mar 2018)

Outlines how vaccines are tested for safety before being licensed for use and how their safety is monitored after licensure.

Understanding Thimerosal, Mercury, and Vaccine Safety

(Reviewed Feb 2013; posted Apr 2013)

Explains what thimerosal is, why it is used as a preservative in multi-dose vials of flu vaccine, and highlights conclusions from studies examining thimerosal safety in vaccines.

The Childhood Immunization Schedule

(Reviewed Feb 2013; posted Apr 2013)

Describes how the U.S. recommended immunization schedule is set.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

(Updated Jan 2018; posted Mar 2018)

Provides details about the group of experts who make U.S. immunization recommendations.


About These Materials

These materials, collectively called Provider Resources for Vaccine Conversations with Parents, have been developed by CDC, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

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Upon Request

If you want to reproduce higher quality or large quantities of these pieces, consider using a local commercial printer. We can provide high-resolution, press-ready files. If you need a high-res file, indicate your printer’s specifications in an email request.

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