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Package Inserts

One of the most important things you can do to inform yourself about vaccines and their possible risks, side-effects and contraindications is to read the manufacturer's package insert. A package insert is not the same thing as the short patient information leaflet your doctor may give you; a package insert is very long (typically more than 10 pages), and is illustrated in the picture to the left. Package inserts come with every vaccine vial, and your doctor's office will have them available, though your doctor may not have read one him or herself. Make sure you ask to see a package insert, and read it in full, before you consent to receive any vaccine. 

You can also read package inserts online by going to the vaccine manufacturer's website. We have links to all the corresponding package inserts at the bottom of each of our vaccine pages, and you can see more package inserts at this link:

One important fact to be aware of is that many package inserts state at section 13.1 that the vaccine has not been evaluated for its carcinogenic (cancer-causing), mutagenic (DNA-damaging) or sterilant (fertility-impairing) potential.