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Can Vaccines Cause Kawasaki Disease?

Kawasaki disease is rare and there is a good chance that you have never even heard of it, even though the first case was diagnosed in 1961.

Kids with this condition are typically irritable and can develop high fever, swollen glands in their neck, red eyes, red, cracked lips, red, swollen hands and feet, and a rash.

If you have heard of it, there is a good chance it is because anti-vaccine folks are using Kawasaki disease to scare you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids. Lately, talk about Kawasaki disease and the meningococcal B vaccines have been going around.

What Causes Kawasaki Disease?

Kawasaki disease is a type of vasculitis.

Kids who develop Kawasaki disease, who are typically under age 5 years, develop inflammation of their blood vessels, which leads to many of the symptoms and complications we see.

What causes this inflammation?

“Evidence suggests that Kawasaki disease may be linked to a yet-to-be identified infectious agent, such as a virus or bacteria. However, despite intense research, no bacteria, virus, or toxin has been identified as a cause of the disease.”

AAP on Kawasaki disease

We don’t know.

Can Vaccines Cause Kawasaki Disease?

Ask about Kawasaki disease if your child has a fever for five days and other symptoms of Kawasaki disease.
Courtesy of the kdfoundation.org

Because the cause of Kawasaki disease is unknown, that leads some folks to think that it could be vaccines.

Could it?

That vaccine clinical trial data sometimes finds a higher, although not statistically significant risk for Kawasaki disease, gets some of those folks thinking about it even more, except they don’t seem to think about the fact that the risk is never statistically significant.

But aren’t there case reports of kids getting Kawasaki disease after getting a hepatitis A, yellow fever, hepatitis B, or flu vaccine?

Yes, but getting a case report published about one patient who you think got Kawasaki disease soon after getting a vaccine isn’t strong evidence that it wasn’t a coincidence.

“Childhood vaccinations’ studied did not increase the risk of Kawasaki disease; conversely, vaccination was associated with a transient decrease in Kawasaki disease incidence. Verifying and understanding this potential protective effect could yield clues to the underlying etiology of Kawasaki disease.”

Abrams et al. on Childhood vaccines and Kawasaki disease, Vaccine Safety Datalink, 1996-2006.

And not surprisingly, several studies have shown that there isn’t any extra risk for Kawasaki disease after routine vaccines.

One even showed that getting vaccinated could be protective! Another benefit of vaccines and another reason you shouldn’t skip or delay your child’s immunizations.

What to Know About Vaccines and Kawasaki Disease

While anti-vaccine folks often list Kawasaki disease among their vaccine-induced diseases, several studies have shown that vaccines are not associated with Kawasaki disease, except to maybe have a protective effective if you are fully vaccinated.

More on Vaccines and Kawasaki Disease

2 thoughts on “Can Vaccines Cause Kawasaki Disease?”

  1. Your article is dishonest:
    First you don’t really explain what is Kawasaki disease and what can complications it can lead to (serious heart damage that will need life treatment, having the heart of a 80years old for a 2 year old child) and you don’t mention as well that there is no treatment for Kawasaki.
    Second, Kawasaki disease is listed on the rare side effects on the men b vaccine. So even the lab who created the vaccine recognise a link.
    Finally it’s listed as rare / 1 case in 1000 , for me this is not rare

  2. Required Requirement

    My daughter is in the icu with atypical Kawasaki that was shortly after men b vaccination. At every turn, people (including my wife) have essentially shamed me for having the nerve to even ask if the vaccine could have been involved. I am sick of people telling me I’m not allowed to protect my children from these senseless, money-driven policies. And I’m sick of being shamed and labeled “anti-vax “ when all I want is for my children to live long, happy and healthy lives without outside forces demanding she put things in her body that are potentially deadly. It is outrageous and now I feel compelled to become quite vocal about it. Shame on you. My daughter will have lasting health complications from a useless jab that she was forced to take. She had no say. I am so god damn angry at people like you.

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