October 2nd, 2016

The ACIP Reports Vaccines Are Safe

The absolute risk from post Febrile Seizure vaccination combinations was small

little girl with glasses

Researchers report that although vaccines may be associated with a potential risk of Febrile Seizure in young children, the overall risk is minimal. This study suggests the recommended immunization schedule may be the best approach for managing the vaccinations of young children.

The childhood immunization schedule in the United States is published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based upon recommendations made by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

According to the current recommendations, influenza vaccine should be administered annually to everyone aged 6 months or older; children should receive 5 doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine, which are recommended to be given at ages 2, 4, and 6 months, between 15 to 18 months, and between 4 to 6 years; and children should receive 4 doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), which are recommended to be given at ages 2, 4, and 6 months, and between 12 to 15 months.

One of the long-standing issues with administering these vaccines is that they can cause fever, which can lead to febrile seizures.

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“These vaccines prevent infections that can sometimes be severe or life threatening. The benefits of timely vaccination are likely much greater than the small risk of febrile seizure. Febrile seizures are relatively benign and do not cause lasting harm. Influenza vaccine, when needed, should still be given at the same time as these other vaccines,” says Jonathan Duffy, MD, MPH, Immunization Safety Office, CDC, Atlanta, Georgia, and lead author of the recent vaccination study.

The study also found that the concomitant administration of influenza, PVC, and DTaP vaccines can lead to febrile seizures at a rate of up to 30 in 100,000 children immunized.

According to Duffy, upon review of the results of this study the ACIP decided that the small risk of febrile seizure following PCV vaccine and the vaccine combinations studied were outweighed by the benefits of the vaccines.