By Julian Pecquet - 08/25/11 06:52 PM EDT
There is no link between vaccines and autism, the Institute of Medicine said in a report Thursday that will help the federal government administer a vaccine injury compensation program created in 1988.
The report found "convincing evidence" that certain vaccines can cause 14 adverse effects — including seizures, brain inflammation and fainting — in rare cases. It also found "indicative though less clear data" linking certain vaccines to four other effects, including allergic reactions and temporary joint pain.
Concerns that vaccinating children can make them autistic, however, were disproved.
"With the start of the new school year, it's time to ensure that children are up to date on their immunizations, making this report's findings about the safety of these eight vaccines particularly timely," IOM committee Chairwoman Ellen Wright Clayton said in a statement. "The findings should be reassuring to parents that few health problems are clearly connected to immunizations, and these effects occur relatively rarely. And repeated study has made clear that some health problems are not caused by vaccines."
Some parents stopped vaccinating their children after a British doctor suggested there was a link between the vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) and autism in 1998. The UK's General Medical Council stripped Andrew Wakefield of his license to practice medicine last year, and this year the British Medical Journal published an article accusing Wakefield of falsifying his research in order to win a lawsuit against a vaccine manufacturer.