Parents who have been scared or continue to second guess their decisions concerning their child's vaccinations should look forward to reading a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), "The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies."
The consensus report concluded that "in this most comprehensive examination of the immunization schedule to date, the IOM committee uncovered no evidence of major safety concerns associated with adherence to the childhood immunization schedule, which should help to reassure a diverse group of stakeholders. Indeed, rather than exposing children to harm, following the complete childhood immunization schedule is strongly associated with reducing vaccine-preventable diseases."
Specifically, the report did not find any evidence "that the U.S. childhood immunization schedule is linked to autoimmune diseases, asthma, hypersensitivity, seizures, child developmental disorders, learning or developmental disorders, or attention deficit or disruptive disorders."
While the new report will hopefully reassure many parents that vaccines are safe, you just have to read Dr. Sears' response to the new report to see that the most ardent anti-vaccine proponents will not be swayed. He doubled-down on his views and told USA Today that the new report "really does nothing to boost parents' confidence in the full vaccine schedule, and I believe that alternative vaccine schedules will continue to be a popular choice." This includes his own alternative vaccine schedule, an untested schedule in which he chooses vaccines based on which diseases he thinks are the "riskiest," hoping your child doesn't get any of the vaccine-preventable diseases that you have delayed getting your child vaccinated against.
In contrast, Thomas K. McInerny, MD, FAAP, president of the AAP stated that "this report is unique in that it is the first attempt to examine the entire childhood immunization schedule as it exists today. The IOM committee found no evidence of major safety concerns when following the schedule, and in fact confirmed that following the schedule strongly reduces the risk of disease. We hope this report will help pediatricians in their conversations with parents about vaccines."
Dr. McInerny also said that "Pediatricians and parents have the same goal of giving children the best start in life, and vaccines play an essential role in protecting children from harm." You have wonder what the goal is of those who continue to push anti-vaccine propaganda and dismiss new evidence.