Do peer-reviewed studies exist comparing the long-term health outcomes, broadly defined, between children who receive the current, full recommended vaccine schedule vs. completely un-vaccinated children?
By long term, I mean over 10+ years ideally, but at least over 5 years.
I understand there can be sensitivity about denying vaccination to children in order study such outcomes, but given that there are many families who are not in favor of vaccination for religious or other reasons, it seems there would be a sufficient pool of willing participants, and this is important question to have clear answers for.
Searches on this site and the internet produce some relevant results, but nothing that covers a broad range of health outcomes over a long time period. Also, many of these studies do find that there are adverse effects that should be studied further.
Therefore, there do not seem to be studies that could be considered conclusive on this question. Relevant references include:
- This is a CDC whitepaper scoping how the safety of the childhood vaccine schedule could be studied using the Vaccine Safety Datalink, but I could not find evidence that such studies were eventually performed. This whitepaper says, a 2012 Institute of Medicine "committee concluded that, while available evidence indicated that the current U.S. immunization schedule was safe, few published investigations had specifically examined the safety of the recommended childhood schedule as a whole."
- This study from 2020 shows evidence of "developmental delays, asthma, ear infections and gastrointestinal disorders" associated with childhood vaccination, but more research is called for. This critique describes problems with this study and provides additional citations regarding vaccine safety.
- This research summary from 1998 suggests more long term studies are needed, but I could find no citations of this summary suggesting such studies have been done.
- This study shows vaccine effectiveness, but also notes "Despite a low absolute risk of serious VAAEs [vaccine-associated adverse events], the relative risk of some VAAEs can exceed risk of disease."
- This is a study of adult military, not children.
- This study finds increases in educational and cognitive skills associated with vaccination.
- This study concludes "Linear regression analysis of unweighted mean IMRs showed a high statistically significant correlation between increasing number of vaccine doses and increasing infant mortality rates, with r = 0.992 (p = 0.0009). Using the Tukey-Kramer test, statistically significant differences in mean IMRs were found between nations giving 12–14 vaccine doses and those giving 21–23, and 24–26 doses. A closer inspection of correlations between vaccine doses, biochemical or synergistic toxicity, and IMRs is essential."