Hepatitis B Vaccine Linked to Onset of Diabetes
Although these may seem like large groups to study, they are not big enough for scientists to see clear patterns for type 1 diabetes, Rewers says. For a study like this to have value, the database should involve as many as 250,000 people in both the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups, he says.
"Caution is necessary when the potential of vaccine-related risks is studied," Rewers tells WebMD. "Without sound supportive data, [parents] can become unduly alarmed and stop immunizing their children." When immunization rates drop, diseases that can cause serious illness -- and death -- return, he tells WebMD.
The National Institutes of Health and the CDC are jointly establishing a system known as "sentinel monitoring areas," Rewers tells WebMD. The agencies will track the rate of type 1 diabetes in these areas -- consisting of selected counties in the U.S. -- and will determine whether the rate is related to things like immunizations, recommended infant feeding schedules, and outbreaks of infection.
Rewers has not been involved with the development of any vaccine and has no ties to any company that manufactures vaccines.