Vaccines and Other Conditions

As vaccine-preventable diseases have become less common, the vaccines that prevent them have come under scrutiny. While life expectancy has increased and countries like the United States have stopped hearing about deaths caused by diseases like measles and rubella, other parts of the world still struggle to control them. Indeed, in parts of Africa, some families wait to name their children until the threat of measles has passed.

Unfortunately, rather than celebrating the successes of vaccines, some have started to wonder whether vaccines could be causing other conditions, such as asthma, autism, arthritis, or autoimmune diseases like diabetes, Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), autoimmune/autoinflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA), and multiple sclerosis. In addition, conditions such as shaken baby syndrome, mad-cow disease and SIDS have also been blamed on vaccines. However, every time questions have been asked, studies have been completed and have not found vaccines to be causally associated with these conditions.


Reviewed by Paul A. Offit, MD, Lori Handy, MD, MSCE on September 11, 2018

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.