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Glaxosmithkline Share News (GSK)

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Share Price: 1,551.20Bid: 1,551.00Ask: 1,552.60Change: -3.80 (-0.24%)Faller - Glaxosmithkline
Spread: 1.60Spread as %: 0.10%Open: 1,554.00High: 1,554.00Low: 1,548.80Yesterday’s Close: 1,555.00




UPDATE 1-Vaccine timetable for children is safe, US experts say

Wed, 16th Jan 2013 19:58

By Susan Heavey

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

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

asthma.

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 even as

it recommends that the research continue.

'The message is that the schedule is safe by all existing

data,' said Dr. Pauline Thomas, an IOM adviser and a professor

at New Jersey Medical School in Newark.

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

existing studies 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 can get up to five shots in one

doctor's visit.

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.



SOME PARENTS STILL WORRY

IOM's panel of independent scientists looked at the schedule

of immunizations and all available scientific literature 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 but

no longer. No studies have shown a clear link, and IOM said in

2004 that researchers should look elsewhere for the disorder's

cause.

'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.

While some pediatricians allow their patients to stretch the

timetable, others refuse to do so saying it poses risks.

The IOM panel said there is no evidence that an alternative

schedule that would be safer or less safe.

But studying the health impact of children who get vaccines

on time versus those who do not would be too risky and

expensive, it said. Instead, while current databases could be

enhanced, they are still the best way to monitor safety, it

added.

Panelists also said doctors need to find better ways to

communicate with the public about vaccine safety and concerns.



(Additional reporting by Elvina Nawaguna; Editing by Jilian

Mincer and Tim Dobbyn)

((sheavey@thomsonreuters.com)(Twitter

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

susan.heavey.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))



(www.iom.edu/childimmunizationschedule www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/child-adolescent.html)

COPYRIGHT
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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