Vaccine Safety Information

Vaccine Safety During Pregnancy

Although there are certain vaccines women should not get during pregnancy, other vaccinations are not only safe during pregnancy but important to protect the health of both babies and moms.

Learn more about the importance and safety of vaccination against seasonal flu and pertussis (whopping cough) for pregnant women:

Vaccines During Pregnancy
Vacunas para las madres: Parte de un embarazo saludable
Vaccines and Pregnancy


HPV Vaccine Safety

Vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) prevents several types of cancer in both men and women. All 11– to 12- year-old boys and girls should get two doses of the HPV vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV infections. The safety of HPV vaccine has been well studied. HPV vaccines went through years of extensive safety testing before being licensed by the FDA, which only licenses a vaccine if it is safe and effective.

Learn more about HPV Vaccine Safety: Information for parents.


MMR Vaccine Safety

There is no link between MMR vaccine and autism. Learn the facts from these resources: 

Understanding MMR Vaccine Safety
Information for Parents from the American Academy of Pediatrics
Research on Autism Spectrum Disorder from the National Institutes of Health


Thimerosal

Thimerosal is a preservative that can prevent growth of germs, like bacteria and fungi in multi-dose vaccine vials.

Thimerosal was taken out of all childhood vaccines that are routinely recommended in the United States in 2001 as a precaution, though data from many studies show no evidence of harm caused by low doses of thimerosal in medical products.

Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines do not and never did contain thimerosal. Varicella (chickenpox), inactivated polio (IPV), and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines have also never contained thimerosal.

Influenza (flu) vaccines are currently available in both thimerosal-containing (for multi-dose vaccine vials) and preservative-free versions. 

Research does not show any link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism. Even after thimerosal was removed from almost all childhood vaccines, autism rates continued to increase.

Learn more through these resources.

Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University: Thimerosal in Vaccines
Contains a table with thimerosal content of U.S. licensed vaccines.

National Network for Immunization Information

Immunization Action Coalition: Thimerosal Information Journal Articles

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER): Thimerosal in Vaccines

CDC: Mercury and Vaccines (Thimerosal)


Safety of Aluminum-Containing Vaccines

Aluminum salts have been used as adjuvants, substances that enhance the immune response, for over 70 years in vaccines. Learn more about their safety through the National Network for Immunization Information.

National Network for Immunization Information: Immunization Issues – Vaccine Components – Aluminum Adjuvants in Vaccines


More Information on Vaccine Safety

Information on a variety of other current vaccine safety issues of interest may be found through the following links below.

Vaccine Education Center: Vaccine Safety Hot Topics
This site provides information on a variety of hot topics in vaccine safety receiving widespread public interest. From the Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

CDC: Vaccine Safety Information
Current vaccine safety issues of interest from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Immunization Safety Office.

Safety Details by Vaccine Type
Choose any vaccine and read about its detailed safety history and research.

Last updated September 23, 2020