Use this collection of resources on vaccine safety to help you in your efforts to educate patients and the public about the benefits of vaccinations.
Use this collection of resources and information on vaccine safety to help you in your efforts to educate patients and the public about the benefits of vaccinations.
The Institute’s mission is to “provide an independent assessment of vaccines and vaccine safety to help guide decision makers and educate physicians, the public and the media about key issues surrounding the safety of vaccines. The institute’s goal is to work toward preventing disease using the safest vaccines possible.” Visitors to this website will find vaccine-specific information that will help them learn the facts about vaccine risks, benefits, and safety. The site lists more than a dozen vaccine types under “Issues: Vax Specific” (including Hepatitis B, Influenza, MMR, Rotavirus, HPV, Tdap/Td, and Hib); clicking on a title opens a page with links to the latest studies on the safety profile, benefits, and side effects associated with that vaccine. Visitors will also find links to useful information from the FDA, the WHO, and other trusted sources. Of particular interest is the section on the MMR vaccine/autism scare.
The Institute for Vaccine Safety website also features links to these useful resources:
This statement from the AAP reminds parents and others that, despite some common myths and misconceptions regarding vaccine safety, “the safety and efficacy of vaccines are under constant study and scrutiny. Because vaccines are designed to be given routinely during well-child care visits, they must be extraordinarily safe. Safety testing begins as soon as a new vaccine is contemplated and continues until it is licensed and indefinitely after licensure.”
The document goes on to say that “over the past decade, questions have been raised regarding a relationship between autism and vaccines, specifically the measles, mumps, rubella combination vaccine (MMR) and the preservative thimerosal, which while never present in MMR, was present in several vaccines used in the 1990s. In 1999, vaccine manufacturers began to remove thimerosal from their products. Currently thimerosal is present in some of the inactivated influenza vaccines. The concerns regarding vaccine safety have received a great deal of attention by parents, doctors, vaccine manufacturers and the media. Dozens of studies have been performed in the United States and elsewhere. The purpose of this document [updated in November 2010] is to list those studies and provide links to the publications to allow parents and all those who administer or recommend vaccines to read the evidence for themselves. The studies provided have been published in peer-reviewed medical journals. These studies do not show any link between MMR vaccine, thimerosal and autism.”
Studies linked to in this document include:
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) “works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public that enhance the delivery of safe and effective immunization services. The Coalition also facilitates communication about the safety, efficacy, and use of vaccines within the broad immunization community of patients, parents, health care organizations, and government health agencies.”
This CDC-funded website was developed for patients, parents, providers, and the media and “presents straightforward information about vaccine-preventable diseases and their vaccines.” Visitors will find information about “vaccine safety and the overall importance of immunization,” including “links to VISs, immunization and disease statistics, state immunization laws, state health department websites, and other topics.”
Available resources include:
HCPLive Wants to Know:
What other educational resources do you use when talking to patients and the public about vaccine safety and benefits?Which sources of misinformation and falsehoods about vaccine safety are most frequently cited by your patients? What approach do you take when trying to inform them that they may not be getting the most reliable information from these sources?What percentage of your patients have opted to space out/separate their childrens' vaccinations? What percentage have opted to forego vaccinations altogether?Have you personally decided not to immunize your own children? If so, how have your colleagues reacted?
Leave a comment and join the debate!