Vaccination before 1 year of age was associated with increased odds of developmental delays (OR = 2.18, 95% CI 1.47–3.24), asthma (OR = 4.49, 95% CI 2.04–9.88) and ear infections (OR = 2.13, 95% CI 1.63–2.78). In a quartile analysis, subjects were grouped by number of vaccine doses received in the first year of life. Higher odds ratios were observed in Quartiles 3 and 4 (where more vaccine doses were received) for all four health conditions considered, as compared to Quartile 1. In a temporal analysis, developmental delays showed a linear increase as the age cut-offs increased from 6 to 12 to 18 to 24 months of age (ORs = 1.95, 2.18, 2.92 and 3.51, respectively). Slightly higher ORs were also observed for all four health conditions when time permitted for a diagnosis was extended from ⩾ 3 years of age to ⩾ 5 years of age.
In this study, which only allowed for the calculation of unadjusted observational associations, higher ORs were observed within the vaccinated versus unvaccinated group for developmental delays, asthma and ear infections. Further study is necessary to understand the full spectrum of health effects associated with childhood vaccination.