We all want to do our best to stay healthy and keep ourselves safe. And so we sometimes worry about whether or not the choices we’re making are good ones — Will this new lotion irritate my skin? What are the ingredients in this juice? Will this birth control be a good fit for me? And it’s normal to have questions about vaccines. Thankfully, this is one worry that you can cross off your list. Vaccines are incredibly safe. They’re one of the best tools we have to keep ourselves and those around us protected from serious disease and illness.
Are vaccines safe?
Vaccines have a decisive track record and have had successful results for decades. For more than 50 years they’ve helped protect people from disease and illness, and vaccines are credited with preventing countless illnesses and millions of deaths. Most vaccines are incredibly effective at preventing disease — from 90-99%. And on the rare chance that someone does get the disease they’ve been vaccinated against, usually the symptoms are significantly milder.
If you’re still wondering, ‘are vaccines safe?’, look to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There’s a lot that happens before FDA approves a vaccine and a healthcare professional administers it to you. Vaccines go through rounds of rigorous clinical study as they’re developed and trials before they’re ever made widely available.Then they need to meet standards for safety and effectiveness before they can be licensed by the FDA. Results of studies are reviewed by many organizations — like the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — before any vaccine is recommended. Once vaccines are approved more widely, they continue to be closely monitored to ensure safety and quality.
There’s no question about it: vaccines are safe. (It should be noted that because some vaccines contain egg protein, if an individual has an egg allergy, they should consult their doctor.) If you have any questions about vaccines, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider. They’ll be able to assure you of the safety and importance of vaccines — and let you know whether or not you’re due for a vaccine anytime soon.
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- “Making the Vaccine Decision: Addressing Common Concerns.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, August 5 2019. Retrieved January 3 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/why-vaccinate/vaccine-decision.html.
- “Q&A on vaccines.” World Health Organization. World Health Organization, August 26 2019. Retrieved January 3 2020. https://www.who.int/vaccines/questions-and-answers.
- “Vaccines for your children.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, March 18 2019. Retrieved January 3 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/index.html.
- “Vaccine Safety: Examine the Evidence.” healthychildren.org. American Academy of Pediatrics, July 24 2018. Retrieved January 3 2020. “https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/immunizations/Pages/Vaccine-Studies-Examine-the-Evidence.aspx.
- “Vaccine Safety: The Facts.” healthychildren.org. American Academy of Pediatrics, October 10 2018. Retrieved January 3 2020. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/immunizations/Pages/Vaccine-Safety-The-Facts.aspx.
- “Vaccines: The Myths and The Facts.” American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, August 19 2019. Retrieved January 3 2020. https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/vaccine-myth-fact.