Learn About Vaccine Safety

Health agencies around the world closely study the safety of vaccines. Hundreds of thousands of people volunteer to be part of clinical trials for vaccines and other drugs. 

In the U.S., the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) licenses all vaccines. That means that research scientists and health experts evaluate the safety and effectiveness of vaccines before children and adults receive them. 

For example, researchers initially tested 40,000 children to develop the pneumococcus vaccine in the 1970s safely. This vaccine is now routinely given to children at age 2 to protect them against severe bacterial infections like pneumonia and meningitis.

Safe & Effective Vaccines Are Part of Your Child’s Routine Healthcare

Since the early twentieth century, vaccines have reduced or stamped out many diseases that once killed or disabled large numbers of children. These days, because some of the deadliest childhood diseases have mostly disappeared in the U.S., some parents wonder if vaccinations are even necessary. They may not have first-hand experience with vaccine-preventable diseases like their parents or grandparents had with certain childhood diseases. 

For example, large polio outbreaks in the U.S. were common before the polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s. Before we had vaccines, the reality of severe childhood diseases meant that parents expected that:

  • Polio would kill thousands of children and paralyze another 10,000
  • Diphtheria was a common cause of death in school-aged children.
  • The mumps virus could infect children’s brains and cause permanent deafness.
  • Measles infected three to four million people each year and led to 48,000 hospitalizations.
  • Twenty thousand babies were born every year with conditions like blindness and heart disorders due to rubella infections in pregnant women.
  • Two hundred thousand children got sick with pertussis (whooping cough), and 9,000 died from the infection.

Mary Bridge Children's Immunization Clinic offers the complete list of vaccinations required for school-age children. Call 253-403-1767 to make an appointment.