Vaccinations and Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (2003)
Table of Contents
Kathleen Stratton, Donna A. Almario, Theresa M. Wizemann, and Marie C. McCormick, Editors, Immunization Safety Review Committee
With current recommendations calling for infants to receive multiple doses of vaccines during their first year of life and with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) the most frequent cause of death during the postneonatal period, it is important to respond to concerns that vaccination might play a role in sudden unexpected infant death.
The committee reviewed epidemiologic evidence focusing on three outcomes: SIDS, all SUDI (sudden unexpected death in infancy), and neonatal death (infant death, whether sudden or not, during the first 4 weeks of life). Based on this review, the committee concluded that the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between some vaccines and SIDS; and that the evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship between other vaccines and SIDS, SUDI, or neonatal death. The evidence regarding biological mechanisms is essentially theoretical, reflecting in large measure the lack of knowledge concerning the pathogenesis of SIDS.