We live in a cynical world.
Everything is questioned, with conspiracy theories lurking beyond the surface to uncover sinister motivations.
Perhaps there is no better example of this than when it comes to vaccination. As a result, there exist a number of widespread beliefs on the subject that are nothing but a myth.
With vaccination being such an important health issue, it’s time to bust the vaccine myths. In this article, we present a dozen pervasive vaccine myths, along with the truth about vaccines.
- 1 Most Popular Vaccine Myths
- 1.1 #1 My Child’s Immune System Can’t Handle So Many Vaccines
- 1.2 #2 Other Children Are Vaccinated, So My Child Is Safe
- 1.3 #3 Major Diseases Have Been Defeated
- 1.4 #4 My Child Will Get Autism!
- 1.5 #5 A Vaccine Will Cause My Child To Get The Disease
- 1.6 #6 There Are Preservatives Contained In The Vaccine That Are Bad
- 1.7 #7 Don’t Let Your Child Get Vaccinated When She Has A Cold
- 1.8 #8 You Don’t Need To Get Vaccinated For Chickenpox
- 1.9 #9 Vaccines Contain Harmful Foreign Proteins
- 1.10 #10 A Vaccine Will Give You Complete Protection Against A Virus
- 1.11 #11 I Should Wait Until My Child Gets Older
- 1.12 #12 Vaccines Have Not Been Properly Tested
- 2 Conclusion
Most Popular Vaccine Myths
#1 My Child’s Immune System Can’t Handle So Many Vaccines
The CDC and AAP recommended immunization schedule is quite overwhelming.
This has led more than a few parents to complain that it’s all too much for their child to handle. As a result, they don’t allow their kids to get any vaccinations at all.
However, there is no foundation for this belief. Children have an amazing ability to deal with the changes to the immune system that come from vaccines.
Infants, especially are uniquely enabled to withstand challenges to the immunological system. One study showed that an infant could handle getting 100,000 vaccines at the same time!
That puts the 23 shots that the CDC recommends that a child gets by the age of two into perspective!
#2 Other Children Are Vaccinated, So My Child Is Safe
Some parents reason that, so long as the children that their child is around have had the vaccinations, then their child will not get a disease.
This is referred to as herd immunization. However, herd immunization relies on a very large percentage of the population getting immunized.
For example, to prevent the spread of measles requires 95 percent immunization in a population.
With the increasing number of parents who are saying no to immunization nowadays, it is quite likely that at least 5 out of every hundred kids will not be immunized.
And if that is the case, the concept of herd immunization goes out the window. As a result, the idea that your child will be protected because other kids are immunized simply doesn’t stack up!
#3 Major Diseases Have Been Defeated
It is a common belief among non-vaxxers that science has already defeated the major diseases that used to plague mankind.
As a result, we don’t really need to get vaccinated any more. However, the premise of this argument doesn’t hold water.
There are a surprising number of communities in the United States that have outbreaks of measles every year. And children are still dying from diseases.
It may not be in the staggering numbers that were once recorded, but if it’s your child who is affected, it doesn’t really matter how many others are affected, does it?
Another thing to keep in mind is that your non-immunized child can pose a very real danger to elderly relatives or others who have a compromised immune system.
So the price you may have to pay for the decision not to immunize your child could be to isolate that child from its grandparents – or it’s baby sister!
Another fact that busts this myth is that there are a huge number of people from foreign countries walking around the streets.
This can expose all of us to diseases that have been defeated in America but not in the home countries of those people.
#4 My Child Will Get Autism!
The belief that everyday vaccines for such things as measles, mumps, and rubella causes developmental disorder autism is widespread.
It originated a few years ago when a case from England went viral. However, there is no truth to this belief.
Autism starts to exhibit itself at the same time that infants have the MMR vaccine, so it is not surprising that a causal link has been established.
The reality is that there is absolutely no causal link between any vaccine and autism. Furthermore, there is evidence that vaccines do not cause autism.
Fourteen studies have shown that your risk of getting autism is no different for infants who have got the MMR vaccine and those who did not.
A similar belief that there is a connection between vaccines and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has no foundation either.
#5 A Vaccine Will Cause My Child To Get The Disease
There was a time when vaccines contained live weakened versions of the virus.
Back then there was a tiny chance of getting the virus.
When we say tiny, we mean really tiny. In 1994, when the live virus was used in the poliovirus, one in 2.4 million people contracted polio from the vaccine itself.
Today, the poliovirus does not use live weakened virus. Instead, it used a killed version of the virus. This completely eliminates the risk of getting the virus from the vaccine.
However, there are some vaccines that do use live weakened vaccines, including MMR.
While there is a risk of some mild symptoms, such as rash or slight fever, they are nothing compared to what you could get if you contracted the virus!
#6 There Are Preservatives Contained In The Vaccine That Are Bad
The belief that there are things within the vaccine that are harmful to the recipient comes from a vaccine ingredient known as thimerosal.
The problem was that it contained a form of mercury called ethylmercury. We all know about the dangers of mercury on the developing brain of children.
However, the ethylmercury found in vaccines is nowhere near as dangerous as methylmercury. That is because the body is able to excrete it much quicker than it can methylmercury.
In 1999, thimerosal was removed from all children’s vaccines. It is still found in some versions of the flu vaccine.
If you are concerned about it, you can request that your doctor give you a thimerosal-free flu vaccine.
#7 Don’t Let Your Child Get Vaccinated When She Has A Cold
It seems logical that a sick child should not get vaccinated.
After all, their immunity is busy fighting off the cold or whatever they have been struck with. But this belief does not stack up with empirical evidence.
A number of studies have confirmed that having a mild illness will not compromise the effectiveness of a vaccine.
If your child has a serious illness, then you should wait until they are better before they get immunized. But a child with a cold can and should get immunized.
#8 You Don’t Need To Get Vaccinated For Chickenpox
Some adults may have had about chickenpox when they were young without any ill effect and reasoned that it doesn’t matter if their kid gets it.
However, this is faulty reasoning. There are still children dying from chickenpox.
Before the chickenpox vaccine was introduced, huge numbers of children would progress from chickenpox to influenza, pneumonia and skin lesions.
If a child does not get a chickenpox vaccine, there is a greater chance that they will get it as an adult. Adult chickenpox is a far more dangerous disease than the childhood version.
#9 Vaccines Contain Harmful Foreign Proteins
Viruses have to be able to be hardy enough to handle their transportation, storage and a host of other factors.
To manage all of this, they are fortified with certain additives.
The base portion of the vaccine will contain live viruses, killed viruses, purified viral proteins, inactivated bacterial toxins or bacterial polysaccharides.
In addition, they may contain gelatin and albumin, formaldehyde, antibiotics, egg proteins or yeast proteins.
The MMR vaccine does contain tiny amounts of egg protein. In fact, they are so negligible that they can be safely given to children with an egg allergy.
This even applies to children who have anaphylaxis to eggs. That gives undeniable evidence that the foreign proteins that are contained in vaccines are not in the least bit harmful.
#10 A Vaccine Will Give You Complete Protection Against A Virus
There is no vaccine that can give you 100 percent protection against a virus.
The best you can hope for is 95 percent protection. That’s if the virus is made from a live weakened strain of the virus.
For a virus that is made from a killed virus, the level of protection is between 75-80 percent.
In addition, the more people in a population get vaccinated, the greater the likelihood of eliminating a virus from that community.
#11 I Should Wait Until My Child Gets Older
A large number of parents are of the opinion that they should wait until their child gets older before immunizing them.
This belief is based on the belief that the older child will be better able to cope with the vaccine. However, this idea is completely off base.
The whole point of a vaccine is to protect the recipient when they are at their most vulnerable.
The CFC and AAP vaccine schedule has been created by medical professionals to provide the right vaccines at the right time to give maximum protection.
#12 Vaccines Have Not Been Properly Tested
Nothing could be further from the truth. Before being released, every vaccine undergoes stringent testing.
It is administered to thousands of test subjects. These tests are strictly monitored for safety.
The results are then analyzed to ensure that they are effective, safe and are produced in accordance with strict manufacturing and production standards.
Since 1990, VAERS has built up a massive database of these cases. The continued monitoring of a virus can and has resulted in changes in the use of a vaccine.
In 1998 a rotavirus vaccine was withdrawn from the market over concerns regarding its safety.
Individual choice is an important part of a free society.
However, there are certain areas where the facts have to override personal preference. I believe that the health of our children is one of those areas.
That is why it is so important that we dig a little to go beyond the myths and false beliefs in order to establish the truth bout vaccines.
This article has exposed a dozen of the pervasive myths about vaccines.
Now that you know the truth, I’m sure you can appreciate how important it is to follow every single one of the recommended vaccines put out by the CDC and AAP.