Increase in USA vaccine schedule vs other countries

After the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was passed that protected vaccine manufacturers against lawsuits, the number of vaccines for infants has been dramatically expanded:


increase-in-vaccine-schedule-diagram-v1-04-10-11In contrast, many of the vaccines on the USA schedule are not included on the vaccine schedules for other developed countries.  A 2009 Special Report “Autism and Vaccines Around the World: Vaccine Schedules, Autism Rates, and Under 5 Mortality” demonstrates that most developed countries do not include the varicella (chicken pox), rotavirus, pneumococcal, influenza, or hepatitis A vaccines on their schedules.  A slight majority of countries administer the hepatitis B vaccine to infants, but many of those countries (such as the UK, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, and Japan [1] [2]) and several Canadian provinces routinely screen pregnant women for hepatitis B and only administer the hepatitis B vaccine to the infant if the mother tests positive for hepatitis B.  The report points out that the USA has a higher vaccination rate and a higher mortality rate for children under the age of 5, and raises this important question:

The United States has the highest number of mandated vaccines for children under 5 in the world (36, double the Western world average of 18), the highest autism rate in the world (1 in 150 children, 10 times or more the rate of some other Western countries), but only places 34th in the world for its children under 5 mortality rate. What’s going on?



[1] WHO (2009). Progress towards global immunization goals. Geneva: WHO.

[2] Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Global progress toward universal childhood hepatitis B vaccination, 2003. MMWR 2003;52:868-70.