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[IP] Vaccines & DM


   WASHINGTON - Getting up to 20 vaccinations by the age of 2 does not
increase a child's risk of developing diabetes or various infections, the
Institute of Medicine reported yesterday.
However, there is not enough evidence to decide if multiple shots increase
the risk of developing asthma, the panel of independent scientists
concluded. The report should reassure parents that "there's not a lot of
support for those risks" critics often cite, said the panel chairwoman, Dr.
Marie McCormick of the Harvard School of Public Health. But "the diseases
that their children are being protected against are very real."

The report is one of a series on the health effects of immunization,
compiled by an institute-appointed committee of medical specialists who have
no financial or advisory connections with vaccine manufacturers. The
Institute of Medicine is an independent organization that does research at
the request of the government.

Surveys suggest about 25 percent of parents worry that infants get so many
vaccines that the shots could overwhelm their immature immune systems and
cause infections or immune-related disorders such as Type 1 diabetes.

In another matter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's
immunization panel decided yesterday to encourage flu shots for children
ages 6 months to 23 months - a group not previously on the recommended list
for the vaccine. It said research shows 6- to 23-month-olds are at increased
risk for flu-related hospitalizations
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