Research to Identify Risks for Adverse Events Following Vaccination: Biological Mechanisms and Possible Means of Prevention

Cynthia J. Howe, Richard B. Johnston, and E. Russell Alexander, Editors

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

On April 1, 1996, the Vaccine Safety Forum convened a workshop entitled Research to Identify Risks for Adverse Events Following Vaccination: Mechanisms and Possible Means of Prevention. The workshop discussed the various immunologic and genetic factors that might influence individuals' responses to vaccines, current research aimed at assessing what populations are at increased risk for experiencing adverse events from vaccines, and research avenues that could be pursued in this regard. This document represents a summary of that workshop.

As discussed at the workshop, a number of immunologic and genetic variables are likely to foster diverse responses to vaccines. Certain populations may be more susceptible to adverse events following vaccination because of some of these variables.

Studies aimed at assessing which groups of individuals may be at most risk for experiencing adverse events from specific vaccines were also addressed. These studies include those that examine the potential link between the following: arthritis and rubella vaccine; anaphylaxis and the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine; convulsions and the diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine (DPT); high-titer measles vaccines and mortality; multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome and vaccination; multiple-antigen vaccinations and adverse events; and adverse events following vaccinations among premature infants.



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Vaccine Safety Forum: Summaries of Two Workshops Research to Identify Risks for Adverse Events Following Vaccination: Biological Mechanisms and Possible Means of Prevention Cynthia J. Howe, Richard B. Johnston, and E. Russell Alexander, Editors EXECUTIVE SUMMARY On April 1, 1996, the Vaccine Safety Forum convened a workshop entitled Research to Identify Risks for Adverse Events Following Vaccination: Mechanisms and Possible Means of Prevention. The workshop discussed the various immunologic and genetic factors that might influence individuals' responses to vaccines, current research aimed at assessing what populations are at increased risk for experiencing adverse events from vaccines, and research avenues that could be pursued in this regard. This document represents a summary of that workshop. As discussed at the workshop, a number of immunologic and genetic variables are likely to foster diverse responses to vaccines. Certain populations may be more susceptible to adverse events following vaccination because of some of these variables. Studies aimed at assessing which groups of individuals may be at most risk for experiencing adverse events from specific vaccines were also addressed. These studies include those that examine the potential link between the following: arthritis and rubella vaccine; anaphylaxis and the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine; convulsions and the diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine (DPT); high-titer measles vaccines and mortality; multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome and vaccination; multiple-antigen vaccinations and adverse events; and adverse events following vaccinations among premature infants.