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Vaccine Controversies

August 25, 2000 • Volume 10, Issue 28
Are today's vaccines safe enough?
By Kathy Koch

Introduction

Six-year-old Arturo Morales receives an immunization at the free clinic in Levitttown, Pa. (AP Photo/Art Gentile)
Six-year-old Arturo Morales receives an immunization at the free clinic in Levitttown, Pa. (AP Photo/Art Gentile)

Immunization rates are at all-time highs, and once-dreaded childhood diseases like polio and diphtheria are at or near record lows. But growing numbers of parents and a small group of scientists question the safety of some vaccines, claiming they can cause severe adverse reactions. They also contend that vaccines shouldn't be mandatory for illnesses like chickenpox and hepatitis B -- which are mild or rare in children -- and that tests on the vaccines have been inadequate. In addition, some scientists say that producing genetically engineered vaccines without knowing the long-term side effects is foolhardy. But drugmakers and health officials say there is no proof of a causal relationship between vaccinations and severe adverse reactions and that maintaining public health demands widespread mandatory immunization.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Vaccines
May 11, 2007  HPV Vaccine
Jun. 13, 2003  Increase in AutismUpdated
Feb. 07, 2003  Smallpox Threat
Aug. 25, 2000  Vaccine Controversies
Jun. 09, 1995  Combating Infectious Diseases
Jun. 18, 1993  Childhood Immunizations
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Biology and Life Sciences
Genetic Disorders and Medical Genetics
Pharmaceuticals
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