28 April 2017 Vol 356, Issue 6336
By Lindzi Wessel
Science28 Apr 2017 : 368-372 Full Access
Health officials say vaccines are safe, so where do common vaccine concerns come from?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccination schedule protects children from 14 dangerous diseases before 2 years of age including polio, mumps, and whooping cough. But even though vaccination has driven down these life-threatening illnesses, fears surrounding the vaccines themselves sometimes keep parents from following through with shots. Calling themselves “safety advocates,” vaccine skeptics have railed against vaccination requirements, alleged government cover-ups of vaccine harms, and—more recently—called for the formation of a new “vaccine safety” commission with vocal vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at its head. Science examined the history behind four of the common false claims against vaccines.