Thursday, September 1, 2011

Despite Concerns, Few Side Effects from Vaccines

As Kalorama has detailed in its market research reports,  resistance to vaccination is increasing, and this is a problem that pharmaceutical marketers and governments need to address.  The reason for the trend is fears about side effects, often promoted by organizations and websites of questionable authority.   The reality is that vaccines cause few side effects, especially considering the amount vaccinated, though proponents could do a better job getting that side of the story out.    The costs and consequences of not vaccinating populations, particularly children and the elderly, are great.  As our report indicates, vaccines may be victims of their own success allowing people to focus on cure instead of disease. 

Now some information that might help arm the pro-vaccine side.  The Institute of Medicine has conducted a complete survey of almost 1,000 research studies and concluded that vaccines are tied to very few and usually mild side effects. The expert panel examined 8 common vaccines: MMR, DTaP, varicella for chickenpox, influenza, hepatitis B, meningococcal, tetanus-containing vaccines and the HPV vaccine. 
The IOM determined the vaccines weren't tied to an increased risk of autism or Type 1 diabetes. Side effects did include high fevers, allergic reaction and seizures, but in most cases they subsided quickly.