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Glaxosmithkline Share News (GSK)

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Share Price: 1,555.00Bid: 1,500.00Ask: 1,560.00Change: 0.00 (0.00%)No Movement on Glaxosmithkline
Spread: 60.00Spread as %: 4.00%Open: 1,544.00High: 0.00Low: 0.00Yesterday’s Close: 1,555.00

Vaccine timetable for children is safe, U.S. experts say

Wed, 16th Jan 2013 17:33

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - The current U.S. guide

for immunizing children against polio, whooping cough, measles

and other infectious diseases is safe, but should still be

monitored, federal health advisers said on Wednesday.

In what they called the most comprehensive review to date,

scientists at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) said there is no

evidence that giving children vaccines according to the

recommended timetable causes other problems such as autism or


IOM, part of the National Academies, a federally-charted

group of scientific advisers to the government, said it hopes

the findings would reassure parents, doctors and others, but it

recommends that the research continue.

Requested by U.S. health officials, the year-long review of

existing research underscores the lingering concerns some people

have about the vaccines, especially the many shots babies and

toddlers receive.

The findings come as the nation wrestles with various

outbreaks, including an influenza epidemic. Several U.S. states

are also grappling with record spikes of whooping cough.

Federal vaccine guidelines recommend 24 immunizations by age

2, and sometimes children get up to five shots in one doctor's


While most people follow the recommended timetable, IOM said

about 1 percent of Americans refuse all vaccines.

The reasons vary. Some object for religious reasons but

others are concerned that underlying medical conditions could

raise the risk of possible complications from the injections.

Others worry potential harms outweigh the benefits or simply

mistrust the government, which reviews and approves vaccines

before they can be marketed.

Still, most parents comply.

Pamela Maslen, a registered nurse and lactation consultant

in Silver Spring, Maryland, said her work overseas influenced

her decision to follow the recommendations when her first

daughter was born nearly five years ago.

'I pretty much decided I wanted to keep on the schedule

because I knew we would be moving, and I didn't want her to be

susceptible to anything,' said Maslen, 35, who has two daughters

and is expecting her third child soon.


IOM's panel of independent scientists looked at the schedule

of immunizations and all available scientific data to determine

safety. They also reviewed CDC and the Food and Drug

Administration databases that track side effects.

Yet suspicions over vaccines have continued for years.

Nearly 40 percent of U.S. parents have some mistrust of

childhood vaccines, the CDC has said.

Some suspicions arose over autism and thimerosal, a

mercury-based preservative once used in many U.S. vaccines that

was later removed from childhood vaccines. No studies have shown

a clear link, and IOM said in 2004 that researchers should look

elsewhere for a cause to the disorder.

'The concerns are certainly still out there,' said Cassandra

Jessee, 39, who opted to 'delay' the vaccines for her

16-month-old son by spreading them over several months rather

than one doctor's visit.

'It means more co-pays and doctors appointments, but to me

it is worth it,' she said.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Jilian Mincer and Tim



@susanheavey)(202-354-5848)(Reuters Messaging:


Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013. All rights reserved.
The copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters.

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