Vaccine safety--vaccine benefits: science and the public's perception

Nat Rev Immunol. 2001 Nov;1(2):160-5. doi: 10.1038/35100585.


The development of cowpox vaccination by Jenner led to the development of immunology as a scientific discipline. The subsequent eradication of smallpox and the remarkable effects of other vaccines are among the most important contributions of biomedical science to human health. Today, the need for new vaccines has never been greater. However, in developed countries, the public's fear of vaccine-preventable diseases has waned, and awareness of potential adverse effects has increased, which is threatening vaccine acceptance. To further the control of disease by vaccination, we must develop safe and effective new vaccines to combat infectious diseases, and address the public's concerns.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Pertussis Vaccine / adverse effects
  • Pertussis Vaccine / pharmacology
  • Poliovirus Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Poliovirus Vaccines / pharmacology
  • Public Opinion*
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety
  • Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Vaccines / pharmacology*
  • Whooping Cough / epidemiology
  • Whooping Cough / prevention & control


  • Pertussis Vaccine
  • Poliovirus Vaccines
  • Vaccines