Lancet Infectious Diseases
May 2020 Volume 20 Number 5 p511-628, e79-e115
The state of vaccine safety science: systematic reviews of the evidence
Matthew Z Dudley, Neal A Halsey, Saad B Omer, Walter A Orenstein, Sean T O’Leary, Rupali J Limaye, Daniel A Salmon
This Review updates the scientific evidence assessing possible causal associations of adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) compiled in the 2012 report from the Institute of Medicine and the 2014 report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. For 12 of 46 AEFI examined, a causal relationship has been established with at least one vaccine currently routinely recommended to the general USA population: anaphylaxis, arthralgia or arthritis (mild, acute, and transient, not chronic), deltoid bursitis (when vaccine is administered improperly), disseminated varicella infection (in immune deficient individuals for whom the varicella vaccine is contraindicated), encephalitis, febrile seizures, Guillain-Barré syndrome, hepatitis (in immune deficient individuals for whom the varicella vaccine is contraindicated), herpes zoster, immune thrombocytopenic purpura, meningitis, and syncope. Other than mild acute and transient arthralgia or arthritis, which is very common in adult women after rubella vaccine, these adverse reactions are rare or very rare. Vaccines have an excellent safety profile overall and provide protection against infectious diseases to individuals and the general population.