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Study finds no link between vaccines, SIDS

There is no evidence of a link between crib death _ known as sudden infant death syndrome _ and multiple vaccines given in infancy, a study concludes.

Many parents became concerned about vaccines after an Australian researcher in the 1980s argued there was a connection. But an Institute of Medicine report released Wednesday reinforces previous studies that found no relationship between the vaccines and SIDS.

"Although the timing of infant vaccinations coincides with the period when SIDS is most likely to occur, parents should rest assured that the number and variety of childhood vaccines do not cause SIDS," said Marie McCormick, head of the committee that wrote the report.

The available data do not answer all possible questions about SIDS and vaccines, said McCormick, head of the department of maternal and child health at Harvard School of Public Health.

"However, we believe that the data we do have, along with the increasing rarity of these kinds of infant deaths, make a review of the vaccine schedule unnecessary," she said.

Most American children during their first 12 months get several vaccines, including the combined diptheria-whooping cough-tetanus vaccine and immunizations against influenza, hepatitis B, polio and pneumococcal bacteria. Whooping cough is also known as pertussis.

Couple charged in deaths of three beheaded children

BROWNSVILLE, Texas _ A woman and her common-law husband have confessed to killing three children who were found beheaded in a squalid apartment near the Mexican border, police said Wednesday.

The woman's daughters, ages 3 and 2 months, were found stuffed into a garbage bag; the couple's 1-year-old son was found on a bed.

Angela Camacho, 23, and John Allen Rubio, 22, were charged early Wednesday with three counts each of capital murder, and could face the death penalty.

Elsewhere . . .

ALASKA AIRLINES PROBE REOPENED: Federal authorities have reopened a criminal investigation into the January 2000 crash of an Alaska Airlines jet that plunged into the Pacific Ocean, killing all 88 people aboard, the airline's parent company disclosed Wednesday.

Alaska Air Group made the disclosure in its annual financial report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Federal authorities did not immediately return calls for comment.