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New vaccine study: Are vaccines safe for kids? Autism, immunization links 'rare'

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A new vaccine study had its findings made public this week, and the perennial question — “Are vaccines safe for kids?” — was answered with confirmation. Although a rare link between the MMR vaccine and symptoms of autism remains possible, health experts firmly state that immunizations are safe for children, and play a very important role in disease prevention among U.S. youth. Yahoo! News reports this Wednesday, July 2, 2014, that a troubling trend among American parents has been to forego vaccines for fear they might harm their kids; however, researchers say this act is counterproductive and even damaging to their safety.

In a new study on vaccines conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics this year, health officials reiterated that immunizations are ultimately safe and “essential” to the prevention of sickness and disease in children here in the U.S. nation. Particularly disconcerting is that a recent lack of staying up-to-date on these pre-emptive measures has resulted in a sudden revival of these illnesses, says the press release.

“Concerns about vaccine safety have led some parents to decline recommended vaccination of their children, leading to the resurgence of diseases,” the background portion study states. “Reassurance of vaccine safety remains critical for population health. This study systematically reviewed the literature on the safety of routine vaccines recommended for children in the United States.”

One of the most controversial vaccines targeted in the study was the immunization for the measles, the mumps, and rubella. This preventative cocktail is often dubbed the MMR vaccine, and its overall safety in regards to child application has been called into serious question in past years following allegations of a link with autism. It is suspected that rare cases may result in a child with a genetic predisposition to the neurodevelopmental disorder forming these symptoms, but the vaccine was ultimately deemed highly safe for kids.

“There is strong evidence that MMR vaccine is not associated with autism,” the research team’s authors verified.

News Max The Wire went on to describe in the new vaccine study that a number of vaccines did present certain adverse effects, but these were exceedingly uncommon, and did not offset the benefits that the immunizations could offer to youth. These overall findings support results from other recent systematic analyses of the safety of vaccines. An investigation made by RAND Corporation researchers emphasizes conclusions drawn by the Institute of Medicine, who cited in their 2011 health report that the top eight childhood immunizations were advantageous for children six years old and younger, and that complications were “extremely rare.”

Autism Speaks also provides some insight into the connection between the MMR vaccine and that of autism. The potential for links may be present, but they are relatively small and seem to stand as no reason whatsoever for a child not to receive his or her standard immunizations.

“It remains possible that, in rare cases, immunization may trigger the onset of autism symptoms in a child with an underlying medical or genetic condition,” the group’s website reads. “Autism Speaks is funding studies on the underlying biology of autism, including studies to better understand medical and genetic conditions associated with autism.”

Overall, this new vaccine study only reminds the U.S. population to have our kids get their boosters, immunizations, and precautionary shots. Hopefully, notes the American Academy of Pediatrics officials, "researchers conclude the findings may allay concerns of some parents about vaccine safety." Yes, vaccines are safe and vital to disease prevention. And when it comes to the health and safety of children, knowledge and proper preparation are most important.

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