Vaccines linked to side effects, benefits outweigh risk

THERE is some evidence that vaccinations can be linked to serious side effects but these are extremely rare, and do not include any higher risk of autism.

A massive review of how children in the United States  are immunised found while there is some risks, researchers said this must be weighed against the benefits of vaccination.

The findings showed the measles, mumps, rubella or MMR vaccine is not at all associated with the onset of autism in children, despite speculation.

Five major types of vaccines including MMR, and those for diphtheria, hepatitis B, flu and tetanus are also not associated with childhood leukaemia.

While some evidence was found to support a link between some vaccines and serious side affects, researchers found "these events were extremely rare; absolute risk is low".

Author Courtney Gidengil, a pediatrician at Boston Children's Hospital and professor at Harvard Medical School said the research "adds to the body of evidence that the benefits really do seem to clearly outweigh the low risk of serious side effects from vaccines".

When these do occur, they are often not particularly severe, she said.

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