Fortunately the scientific community takes even the slightest suggestion that a vaccine causes an affliction seriously. Every time that a vaccine is accused of a side effect or of causing damage to the person receiving the vaccine the scientific vaccine community goes into full research mode. When there is found to be a relationship between a side effect and a vaccine, the scientific community is alerted while the vaccine's safety is reviewed. The vaccine may be temporarily or permanently suspended from use.
For example, RotaShield®, was a rotavirus vaccine that was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 1998 and recommended for use in the United States by the ACIP. In July of 1999 with almost 1 million children having been immunized with the vaccine, it was noticed that an increase in the number of children who developed a serious bowel disease called "intussusception" was occurring. The common thread was the RotaShield® vaccine, and so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that use of the vaccine be suspended.
Scientific investigation estimated that the risk of intussusception attributable to the vaccine was about one per 10,000 (or less) among vaccinated infants, which was significantly higher than for children who were not vaccinated with that vaccine. Action was quickly taken, and the vaccine was voluntarily withdrawn from the market by the manufacturer in October 1999. Further investigation showed that those who received the RotaShield® vaccine in 1998 and 1999 were not at continuing risk of developing intussusception.
This shows that the surveillance systems put in place by both the government and the scientific community work and that the continuous monitoring of vaccines and the diligence of the scientific community provides us with the safest vaccines possible today. Additionally, rigorous questioning of the safety of vaccines leads researchers to find new ways to develop and manufacture vaccines.
Over the years, there have been many charges that vaccines caused various afflictions. But decades of research and use prove vaccines are among the safest medical measures ever developed.
Making good medical decisions for your family requires being informed. Don't be afraid to discuss your questions or concerns with your child's health care provider.