Fact Check: Were the results of Hepatitis B vaccination study withheld by CDC?

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Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Quick Take

A social media post claims that the CDC didn’t release the results of a study which compared children who were vaccinated and unvaccinated with the Hepatitis B vaccine. The results purportedly showed an increased risk of neurodevelopmental delays in newborns who were given a Hepatitis B vaccine during the first month of life We fact-checked and found the claim to be Mostly False.

Rating

The Claim

The caption of an Instagram post reads, “It’s not just the c*v*d jibby jab… they found an “increased risk of – 829% for ADHD, 762% for autism, 638% for ADD, 565% for tics, 498% for sleep disorders, and 206% for speech delays” for those who received the Hep B compared to those who didn’t 😳 But Big Pharma doesn’t want you to be able to make informed decisions for your kids!!!” 

The first image shared on the post reads, “Did you know the CDC in 2001 unwittingly conducted a narrow vaccinated versus unvaccinated study comparing children receiving the Hepatitis B vaccine during the first month of life versus those who did not?”

It further reads, “The results of this study were never released by the CDC, and an abstract of the study was only recently obtained under a FOIA request.”

CDC

Fact Check

Did the CDC withhold the results of the Hepatitis B vaccination study?

Not exactly. The post lacks substantiation to support its assertions that the study findings were “never disclosed” and were only recently obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. There is mention of the exact document or the link for the study on the basis of which the assertion is being made. 

However, on research, we could find a request made under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) concerning the ACIP recommendations for the use of the hepatitis B vaccine in infants and children. But we are not sure if it’s the same request the post is referring to.

Moreover, the study cited in the second picture of the post, titled Increased risk of developmental neurologic impairment after high exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccine in the first month of life,” gives a different number as compared to the one mentioned in the claim. The abstract concludes by stating that high exposure to ethyl mercury from thimerosal-containing vaccines in the first month of life increases the risk of subsequent development of neurologic development impairment but not of neurologic degenerative or renal impairment. It must be mentioned here that the study mentions that further confirmatory studies are needed.

We could find a study published in the year 2003 titled “Safety of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines: A Two-Phased Study of Computerized Health Maintenance Organization Databases.” The study has been widely available for more than 20 years. It found no consistent significant associations between thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs) and neurodevelopmental outcomes. However, it did suggest that to resolve the conflicting findings, studies with uniform neurodevelopmental assessments of children with a range of cumulative thimerosal exposures are needed. 

Another research published in the year 2001 concluded that no evidence could be found that proves that hepatitis B vaccination in newborn is associated with an increase in the number of febrile episodes, sepsis evaluations or allergic or neurologic events. 

In conclusion, the assertions presented in the Instagram post are incorrect. The CDC did not withhold the study, nor was it procured recently through a Freedom of Information Act request. The study has been publicly accessible for the past two decades.

Are vaccines important for children?

Yes. Vaccines are important for children because they protect against infectious diseases. Babies are born with immune systems that can fight various diseases. However,  a baby’s immune system may not be able to fight off certain diseases effectively, and some diseases can be particularly dangerous or even deadly for children. Vaccines stimulate the immune system to produce an immune response to a specific pathogen without causing the disease itself. This helps the immune system to recognize and fight the pathogen if the child is exposed to it in the future.

Vaccines are especially important for children because they are often in close contact with other children in settings like daycare centers and schools, which can increase the risk of infectious disease transmission. Vaccines can help to prevent outbreaks of diseases and protect children who may be too young or too sick to receive certain vaccines.

In addition, vaccines can help to protect the broader community through a process called herd immunity. When a large percentage of the population is vaccinated against a disease, it becomes more difficult for the disease to spread, which can protect people who cannot receive certain vaccines, such as those with weakened immune systems or allergies. Overall, vaccines are an important tool in protecting the health and well-being of children and the broader community.

Do vaccines have any adverse effects?

Yes, this may occur on occasion. Please understand that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ vaccine that not only protects but is completely safe for everyone. As a result, vaccines that induce protective immunity may cause some undesirable side effects, which are usually mild and resolve quickly.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Dr. Shikha Shiromani
Dr. Shikha Shiromani
A dental surgeon by education and medical writer by profession, Shikha is responsible for research and fact-check.

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Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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