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Medical News and Perspectives
October 5, 2011

IOM Review Finds Vaccine Adverse Events Are Rare and Usually Reversible

JAMA. 2011;306(13):1427-1428. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1386

A review of more than 1000 studies by the Institute ofMedicine (IOM) has identified a handful of adverse events that may result from vaccination, but also found that such events are rare and most often reversible.

The review was commissioned by the US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to help inform decisions of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program created by the 1986 Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. That legislation established a system for handling claims of vaccine-associated injury that would protect manufacturers from large claims while providing compensation to persons who were found to have been harmed by vaccines. The law also called upon the US Department of Health and Human Services to consult with the IOM to assess vaccine-related adverse events. The IOM previously produced reports on vaccine safety in 1991 and 1994.