However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure. Today, all routinely recommended childhood vaccines manufactured for the U.S. market contain either no thimerosal or only trace amounts with the exception of some flu vaccines. There are thimerosal-free influenza vaccines available.1

Thrombocytopenia: a condition in which an abnormally small number of platelets is present in the circulating blood.5

Toxoid vaccines: toxoid vaccines contain a toxin or chemical made by the bacteria or virus. They make you immune to the harmful effects of the infection, instead of to the infection itself. Examples are the diphtheria and tetanus vaccines.3

Type 1 diabetes: diabetes of a form that usually develops during childhood or adolescence and is characterized by a severe deficiency of insulin secretion resulting from atrophy of the islets of Langerhans and causing hyperglycemia and a marked tendency toward ketoacidosis—called also insulin-dependent diabetes, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, juvenile diabetes, juvenile-onset diabetes, type 1 diabetes mellitus.2

Vaccination: injection of a killed or weakened infectious organism in order to prevent the disease.1

Vaccine: immunobiological substance used for active immunization by introducing into the body a live modified, attenuated, or killed inactivated infectious organism or its toxin. The vaccine is capable of stimulating an immune response by the host, who is thus rendered resistant to infection. The word vaccine was originally applied to the serum from a cow infected with vaccinia virus (cowpox; from Latin vacca, “cow”); it is now used of all immunizing agents.4

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS): a database managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. VAERS provides a mechanism for the collection and analysis of adverse events associated with vaccines currently licensed in the United States. Reports to VAERS can be made by the vaccine manufacturer, recipient, their parent/guardian, or health care provider. For more information on VAERS call (800) 822-7967.1

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