BOX 1-1
Statement of Task

The Institute of Medicine will convene an expert committee to

  1. Review scientific findings and stakeholder concerns related to the safety of the recommended childhood immunization schedule.
  2. Identify potential research approaches, methodologies, and study designs that could inform this question, including an assessment of the potential strengths and limitations of each approach, methodology and design, as well as the financial and ethical feasibility of doing them.
  3. Issue a report summarizing their findings.

complete a study addressing the statement of task (see Box 1-1). The committee’s charge was independent of the charges for previous IOM studies of vaccines, and committee members were carefully selected to avoid real or perceived biases or conflicts of interest. Strict criteria for membership prevented any members from having financial ties to vaccine manufacturers or their parent companies, previous service on federal vaccine advisory committees, or delivered expert testimony or written publications on issues of vaccine safety.

Biographical sketches of the members of committee can be found in Appendix F. The committee’s charge is detailed in Box 1-1.


To complete its charge, the committee held three information-gathering meetings in two different locations. Before the first meeting and throughout the committee’s deliberations, the committee gathered information on public perspectives and reviewed the scientific literature on the safety of the recommended childhood immunization schedule. At the public forums held in February, March, and May 2012, the committee heard presentations from clinicians, representatives of U.S. federal and state agencies and public health agencies in other countries, vaccine safety researchers, advocacy groups, vaccine manufacturers, and methodological experts. During the public forums, the committee invited comments (both written and oral) from the general public and representatives from numerous organizations with an interest in vaccine safety. Additionally, the committee received and

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