The science of vaccine safety: Summary of meeting at Wellcome Trust

Stanley A. Plotkin, Paul A. Offit, Frank DeStefano, Heidi J. Larson, Narendra Kumar Arora, Patrick L.F. Zuber, Eric Fombonne, James Sejvar, Paul Henri Lambert, Anders Hviid, Neal Halsey, Nathalie Garçon, Keith Peden, Andrew J. Pollard, Lauri E. Markowitz, Jason Glanz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Vaccines are everywhere hugely successful but are also under attack. The reason for the latter is the perception by some people that vaccines are unsafe. However that may be, vaccine safety, life any other scientific subject, must be constantly studied. It was from this point of view that a meeting was organized at the Wellcome Trust in London in May 2019 to assess some aspects of vaccine safety as subjects for scientific study. The objective of the meeting was to assess what is known beyond reasonable doubt and conversely what areas need additional studies. Although the meeting could not cover all aspects of vaccine safety science, many of the most important issues were addressed by a group of about 30 experts to determine what is already known and what additional studies are merited to assess the safety of the vaccines currently in use. The meeting began with reviews of the current situation in different parts of the world, followed by reviews of specific controversial areas, including the incidence of certain conditions after vaccination and the safety of certain vaccine components. Lastly, information about the human papillomavirus vaccine was considered because its safety has been particularly challenged by vaccine opponents. The following is a summary of the meeting findings. In addition to this summary, the meeting organizers will explore opportunities to perform studies that would enlarge knowledge of vaccine safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1869-1880
Number of pages12
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 18 2020


  • Adjuvants
  • Autism
  • DNA
  • Encephalopathy
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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