Can vaccines cause encephalitis (brain inflammation) and other severe consequences?

All vaccines and medication come with some amount of risk, just as all diseases present risk. Parents should weigh the risk vs. benefit.

  • There is a 1 in 1,000,000 risks of encephalitis from the MMR vaccine. Comparatively, the risk of encephalitis from contracting measles is 1 in 1,000.
  • There is a 0-10.5 in 1,000,000 risks of encephalitis from DTaP; Comparatively, there is a 1 in 20 risk of death from diphtheria; 2 in 10 risks of death from tetanus; and 1 in 20 risks of Encephalitis /1 in 1,500 risks of death from pertussis.
  • The fact is that a child is far more likely to be seriously injured by a disease that could be prevented by the vaccine than the vaccine itself.
  • Many parents say they will only vaccinate their children if there are zero risks. Unfortunately, the risk of their child getting a preventable disease, or being seriously injured or dying from that disease, is not zero.
  • The risk of encephalitis or severe allergic reaction from the MMR vaccine is 1 in 1,000,000;

The risk of pneumonia from measles: 6 in 100

The risk of death from measles: 2 in 1,000

(4, 10)

Show All Answers

1. I have heard vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases they protect against. Isn't it safer for my child to get the disease?
2. Can vaccines cause encephalitis (brain inflammation) and other severe consequences?
3. If vaccines are safe, why has the federal government paid more than $2 billion to children and adults injured by vaccines?
4. Is it possible that aluminum in vaccines could be harmful to normal, healthy babies?
5. Is it true many as 50% of vaccines used in the U.S. contain mercury, which has been linked in the media with autism?
6. I have heard about the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Does this mean there are more dangers from vaccines than are being reported to VAERS?
7. Why should I vaccinate my child when vaccines are not 100% effective and don't always last a lifetime?
8. Is it difficult to get legal exemptions to vaccination for school enrollment?