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Studies erode vaccination, MS link


A pair of studies calls into question links between vaccines and multiple sclerosis. In particular, neither study found long-term associations with the human papillomavirus vaccine and MS.

In the first study, a research team, led by Dr. Annette Langer-Gould, of Kaiser Permanente, Southern California, in Pasadena, Calif., looked at the complete health records of Kaiser Permanente, Southern California, members to determine whether vaccines, particularly those for hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV), increase the risk of MS. They identified 92 cases and 459 controls of females aged 9 to 26 years. They found no associations between HepB vaccination, or any vaccination and the risk of acquired central nervous system demyelinating syndromes (CNS ADS) up to three years later. Vaccination of any type was associated with an increased risk of CNS ADS onset within the first 30 days after vaccination only in younger individuals. They found that short-term increase in risk suggests that vaccines may accelerate the transition from subclinical to overt autoimmunity in patients with existing disease. Their findings, published in the December issue of JAMA Neurology, however, do not suggest a need for a change in vaccine policy.

The second study, led by Nikolai Madrid Scheller of Statens Serum Institut, in Copenhagen, Denmark, wanted to know if the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (qHPV) vaccination is associated with an increased risk of multiple sclerosis. Identifying a cohort of all females aged 10 to 44 years in Denmark and Sweden, followed up from 2006 to 2013, researchers found no link between the qHPV vaccination and the development of multiple sclerosis. Their findings, published in the January issue of JAMA, did not support concerns about a causal relationship between qHPV vaccination and demyelinating diseases.

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