No Causal Association Found Between Vaccines and Deaths in Young People Interview with:
Natalie L. McCarthy, MPH

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, Georgia What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Recently, deaths immediately following 4vHPV vaccination have garnered intense media attention.  Often, these media stories do not take into account the background rates of death in older children and young adults or disclose the potential for non-vaccine related causes of death.  The publicity surrounding deaths temporally associated with HPV and the paucity of studies examining deaths in adolescents following vaccination, was the basis for our evaluation of deaths following vaccines administered to individuals 9 through 26 years of age in the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). The VSD is a collaborative project between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several integrated healthcare systems, which monitors the safety of vaccines in the U.S.

This study assessed the risk of death in the first 30 days following vaccination, described the causes of death, and included an evaluation of the potential association of vaccination and death among older children and young adults. The risk of death was not increased during the 30 days following vaccination, and no deaths were found to be causally associated with vaccination. The causes of death were consistent with what would be expected for this age group. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: This research should reassure both clinicians and patients with regard to the safety of 4vHPV vaccine, as well as other vaccines routinely administered to individuals 9-26 years of age. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: While we found no causal association between deaths and vaccines, public health officials and healthcare workers should continue to thoroughly investigate deaths with a suspected relationship to vaccination and assess any potential causal relationship with immunizations. Thank you for your contribution to the community.




Vaccination and 30-Day Mortality Risk in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults

Natalie L. McCarthy, Julianne Gee, Lakshmi Sukumaran, Eric Weintraub, Jonathan Duffy, Elyse O. Kharbanda, Roger Baxter, Stephanie Irving, Jennifer King, Matthew F. Daley, Rulin Hechter, Michael M. McNeil


March 2016


Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

More Medical Research Interviews on




Last Updated on April 7, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD