A study, reported in the American Journal of Public Health (June 2004), has found that routine childhood vaccinations are not linked with higher risks of asthma or eczema. Because allergic diseases have increased in the past few decades, individuals had blamed the change on the increase in mass vaccinations.
In the study, the researchers evaluated data on a birth cohort of 29,238 children who had been followed for up to 11 years. They did find a certain association between overall population rates of diphtheria/polio/pertussis/tetanus immunization and measles/mumps/ rubella vaccination and the occurrence of asthma and eczema. The researchers suggested, however, that the cause was lack of routine medical care. The association affected only "a minority of children who rarely seek care" from a general practitioner?meaning that these children were less likely than the average child to have been given routine vaccinations. The investigators concluded that "current vaccination practices do not have an adverse effect on the incidence of allergic diseases."