As with any medicines, immunisations have risks as well as benefits. Serious side effects, such as severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), are very rare and vaccines are considerably safer than getting the diseases that they protect against.
Before any vaccine can be used it will have been through extensive scientific research and independent review, more than any other prescription medication. This is not only to show that they are safe, but also to prove that they work.
Before any vaccines are made available to the public or added to an immunisation schedule, the scientists have to be completely convinced that they’re not dangerous. This process can take ten years or more. Only vaccines with excellent safety profiles are licensed for use in New Zealand.
Even after a vaccine is made available its safety continues to be monitored both in New Zealand and overseas, to ensure it provides the safest, best possible protection possible.
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