The Institute of Medicine will convene an expert committee to
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.
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