Conflicts of Interest
By Gayle DeLong
How safe are vaccines? Health officials caution that no vaccine is 100% safe, but they sponsor studies that conclude the benefits of vaccines far outweigh the risks. Yet conflicts of interest (COls) cloud the study of adverse effects of vaccines, and public skepticism about vaccine safety information is widespread Investigation into the possible link between childhood vaccines and autism provides an illustration of the competing interests that sponsors of vaccine safety research face that could affect their objectivity in choosing which studies to support.
Using the investigation into the possible link between childhood vaccines and autism as an illustration, this article discusses the current state of vaccine safety research.