Because vaccines must be safe for use by as many people as possible, vaccines are developed in accordance with the highest standards of safety. Years of testing are required by law before a vaccine is licensed and distributed. Once in use, vaccines are continually monitored for safety and efficacy.
However, as with any medical procedure, vaccination has some risks despite the substantial, proven benefits. Individuals react differently to vaccines, and there is no way to absolutely predict the reaction of a specific individual to a particular vaccine. There may also be some religious or ethical considerations to weigh. Anyone who takes a vaccine should be informed about both the benefits and any potential risks or issues with vaccination.
Below are various vaccine safety topics in alphabetical order. Click on the links to learn more, and please contact us if you have any additional questions or concerns.
Autism and vaccines
- Responding to Vaccine-Hesitant Parents, Public Health - Seattle & King County
- MMR Does Not Cause Autism - Examine the Evidence, Immunization Action Coalition (PDF)
- Vaccines and Autism, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (PDF)
- Lancet accepts MMR study 'false', BBC News article regarding The Lancet medical journal which originally published the discredited research linking autism and MMR has issued a full retraction of the paper.
- Clear Answers & Smart Advice About Your Baby's Shots, Ari Brown, MD, FAAP (PDF)
General information about vaccines
- Evaluating Immunization Information on the web, CDC
- Vaccine safety, CDC
- Plain Talk About Childhood Immunizations
- Reporting Adverse Reactions to Vaccines through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
Ingredients in vaccines
Multiple vaccinations and immune system
Religious and ethical considerations
- Judicially Prohibited and Impure Substances in Foodstuff and Drugs, World Health Organization (PDF)
- Statement from Rabbi Adler Concerning the Use of Porcine and Animal Products in Vaccines, UK National Health Service
Additional resources on vaccine safety
Book and pamphlets:
- Do Vaccines Cause That? A Guide for Evaluating Vaccine Safety Concerns, Myers, Martin G. MD and Diego Pineda.
- What to Expect Guide to Immunizations, Murkoff, Heidi. New York : The What to Expect Foundation, 2008.
- Vaccines: What You Should Know, Offit, Paul A. MD and Louis M. Bell, MD. 3rd edition. New York : Simon & Schuster, March 2003.
- Plain Talk About Childhood Immunizations, Public Health - Seattle & King County and Snohomish Health District. Available free from Within Reach at 1-800-322-2588 (voice) or 1-800-833-6388 (TTY), and from Washington State Department of Health at (360) 664-2929 (fax only).
- Immunization Action Coalition for health care professionals -- Vaccine concerns
- Vaccine Information -- for the public and health professionals. See Vaccine Concerns
- National Network for Immunization Information
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Washington Department of Health Immunization Program
Email, fax and phone numbers:
- LOCAL: Public Health - Seattle & King County
- Immunization Program: 206-296-4774
- Vaccine Distribution Program: 206-296-4782
- Communicable Disease Hotline: 206-296-4949
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- STATE: Washington State Immunization Program:
- Main number: 360-236-3595
- Main number: 360-236-3595
- FEDERAL: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- National Immunization Program e-mail address: email@example.com
- Telephone consultation: CDC-INFO Contact Center, staffed 8 am-11pm (EST)
- English and Spanish: 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)
- CDC Fax Information Service: 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299)