Another argument used by anti-vaccine groups bites the dust -- research shows no evidence that routine shots somehow dampen kids' immune systems.
"Some parents are concerned that multiple vaccines in early childhood could damage their child's immune system, making them more susceptible to future infections," said study author Jason Glanz. He is a senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Colorado Institute for Health Research.
"This new study suggests the theory of overloading an infant's immune system is highly unlikely," Glanz said in a Kaiser news release.
He said the new study should help "parents across the nation better understand the safety and benefits of vaccinating on time."
The research included more than 940 children who received multiple recommended vaccinations during their first 23 months. They were followed for two years.
Researchers looked for illnesses that included lower and upper respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, and other viral and bacterial infections. None were infections targeted by the vaccines used.
Glanz's team found no associations between vaccines and any increased risk of getting these infections.
The findings were published March 6 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"This latest study found that vaccination didn't appear to damage the immune system in a way that made kids more infection-prone," said study co-author Dr. Matthew Daley.
He's a Kaiser Permanente pediatrician and researcher at the Institute for Health Research in Colorado.
"Vaccines not only protect children, but others in the community who may be more vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases," Daley added.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on immunizations.
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