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Vaccines are the best defense we have against serious, preventable, and sometimes deadly contagious diseases. Vaccines are some of the safest medical products available, but like any other medical product, there may be risks. Accurate information about the value of vaccines as well as their possible side-effects helps people to make informed decisions about vaccination.
Federal law requires that Vaccine Information Statements explaining vaccine benefits and risks be handed out whenever (before each dose) certain vaccinations are given. Vaccine Information Statements are available in Spanish and many different languages. In addition, more detailed information describing the benefits and risks of a particular vaccine is available in the Prescribing Information from the Food and Drug Administration.
The following sections answer common questions asked about vaccines and how vaccines are tested and monitored to ensure they are safe and effective. These sections are currently available in English only.