The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which helped guide the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program that funds children who experience side effects from vaccines, has commissioned a report after 17 years that found no link with autism and Type 1 diabetes after taking certain vaccines.

Vaccines can cause certain side effects but serious ones appear very rare — and there's no link with autism and Type 1 diabetes, the Institute of Medicine says.

An Institute of Medicine panel found evidence that some common vaccines – varicella zoster; measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); influenza, hepatitis B, meningococcal and tetanus – may in rare cases cause 14 adverse health effects, according to a report released Thursday.

The MMR vaccine does not cause autism, and the MMR and the DPT or diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis vaccines do not cause type I diabetes and killed flu vaccine or the flu shot does not cause Bell's palsy and does not trigger episodes of asthma, Ellen Wright Clayton, M.D., director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, said in a news briefing to release the report.

The report, issued on Thursday by the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academies of Sciences, is the first comprehensive report on vaccine side effects since 1994.

We looked at more than 1,000 articles evaluating the epidemiological and biological evidence about whether vaccines cause side effects, said committee chair Ellen Wright Clayton, professor of pediatrics and law, and director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

The panel looked at eight common vaccines: the combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP), varicella for chickenpox, influenza, hepatitis B, meningococcal, tetanus-containing vaccines, and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

The big take-home message is that we found only a few cases in which vaccines can cause adverse side effects, and the vast majority of those are short-term and self-limiting, Clayton said in a telephone interview with Reuters.

Fears that vaccines might cause autism or other health problems have led some parents to skip vaccinating their children, despite repeated reassurances from health authorities.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services who helped guide the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, a program that funds children who experience side effects from vaccines, commissioned a report after 17 years that found no link with autism and Type 1 diabetes after taking certain vaccines.

These vaccines protect against a host of diseases, including measles, mumps, whooping cough, hepatitis, diphtheria, tetanus, chickenpox, meningitis and pneumococcal disease and cervical cancer.