Editorials

Vaccination and type 1 diabetes mellitus

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7192.1159 (Published 01 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1159

Currently no evidence of a link, but more studies are needed as vaccines change

  1. David Elliman, Consultant in community child health
  1. St George's Hospital, London SW17 0QT

    Papers p 1169

    The massive reduction of invasive disease due to Haemophilus influenzae type b has been an outstanding example of the value of immunisation. However, as has been the case with several vaccines, memory of the devastation caused by the disease rapidly fades and is replaced by concerns about the safety of the vaccine. These are often unfounded, but untold damage can result.1

    Coincident with the increase in the number of vaccines given to children there has been a significant rise in the incidence of a number of poorly understood conditions, such as asthma, autism, and diabetes mellitus, has been noted in children in many countries.2 Of course this temporal association does not prove a causal link, and the increase in incidence often predates the introduction of most vaccines. However, the temporal associations have raised questions, and such concerns should not be dismissed out of hand.

    Classen and Classen have suggested that immunisation after the age of …

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