Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Babies receive many vaccines when they are between 2 to 4 months old. This age range is also the peak age for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or infant death that cannot be explained. The timing of the 2 month and 4 month shots and SIDS has led some people to question whether they might be related. However, studies have found that vaccines do not cause and are not linked to SIDS.
Vaccines do not cause SIDS.
Multiple research studies have been conducted to look for possible links between vaccines and SIDS. Results from these studies and continued monitoring show that vaccines do not cause SIDS.
Some studies include:
- A study looked at the ages and seasons of infant deaths after vaccinations reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). This study examined VAERS reports following DTP and hepatitis B vaccination found no link between SIDS and these vaccines.
- A 2003 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report “Immunization Safety Review: Vaccination and Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy.” The committee reviewed scientific evidence focusing on sudden unexpected death in infancy and looked for possible relationships between SIDS and vaccines. Based on all the research findings they reviewed, the committee concluded that vaccines did not cause SIDS.
- Additional work on defining SIDS and reviewing the literature by the Brighton Collaboration, an international network of vaccine safety experts.
SIDS deaths declined due to recommendations to put infants on their backs to sleep.
As a result of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 1992 recommendation to place healthy babies on their backs to sleep, and the success of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Back to Sleep campaign in 1994, SIDS deaths have declined considerably.
For more information on SIDS and CDC’s work to prevent it, see http://www.cdc.gov/sids/.
- Page last reviewed: August 28, 2015
- Page last updated: September 26, 2017
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