Journal Article

Combination Vaccines: Defining and Addressing Current Safety Concerns

Neal A. Halsey

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 33, issue Supplement_4, pages S312-S318
Published in print December 2001 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 2001 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/322567
Combination Vaccines: Defining and Addressing Current Safety Concerns

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Combination vaccines have been in use for >50 years. Historical problems with vaccines, including intussusception after rotavirus vaccine, carrier suppression with tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccines, and decreased immunogenicity of some Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccines when mixed with acellular pertussis-diphtheria-tetanus, have contributed to some misperceptions about current vaccines. There is no evidence that adding additional vaccines through combination products increases the burden on the immune system, which has the capability of responding to many millions of antigens. Combining antigens usually does not increase adverse effects—in fact, it can lead to an overall reduction in adverse events. Combination products simplify immunization and allow for the introduction of new vaccines without requiring the vaccinee to make additional visits to his or her health care provider. Licensed combination vaccines undergo extensive testing before approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration to assure that the new products are safe and effective.

Journal Article.  4597 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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