Do Vaccines Cause Autoimmune or Chronic Disorders?

Paul A. Offit, MD, talks about the types of studies used to answer questions about vaccines and chronic disorders.


Do vaccines cause autoimmune or chronic disorders?

Paul Offit, MD: Hi, my name’s Paul Offit. I’m talking to you today from the Vaccine Education Center here at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I think from a parent’s standpoint they will ask the question, “You know, my child was fine, they got a vaccine and then something else happened.” They develop, you know, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis, or systemic lupus, or any sort of chronic, or autoimmune, or so-called rheumatologic disease.

I think it’s perfectly reasonable to ask the question. The good news is these are answerable questions. They can be answered in a scientific venue, and have. So what you do is you look at large numbers of children who either did or did not receive a particular vaccine at a particular time. And then look to see whether or not there was an increased risk of multiple sclerosis, or there was an increased risk of diabetes. And the answers have been very clear and consistent, and reproducible, which is vaccines do no cause either chronic diseases, or the so-called autoimmune, or rheumatologic diseases.

Thank you.

Related Centers and Programs: Vaccine Education Center

Last Reviewed on Aug 11, 2015