Vaccination: Myth and Truths

Are you nervous about vaccinating your kids? Are you having trouble separating the myths from the truth? So why do parents choose not to vaccinate their children? It’s largely due to the spread of myths:

Vaccines cause autism

This line of thinking originated with a 1997a study. This study suggested that the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine was causing autism in British children. The paper was quickly discredited due to a serious procedural error. There were undisclosed financial conflicts of interest and ethical violations. Although, the hypothesis is taken seriously by some. While the true causes of autism remain a mystery to this day. Recent research provides evidence that autism develops in utero. This is before a baby was born or receives vaccinations. Vaccination can help people live a long and healthy life.

Multiple vaccines aren’t safe for young children

While there are few children with immune deficiencies due to a medical condition, nearly all children can be safely vaccinated. Studies look at the effect of giving combinations of vaccines. Scientific data shows that receiving several vaccines at the same time does not cause any chronic health problems. Sometimes combination vaccines may cause fever and rarely febrile seizures. These are temporary and do not cause any lasting damage. American Academy of Pediatrics recommends receiving all routine childhood vaccination on time.

Natural immunity is better than a vaccine

Acquired immunity is where babies are immune to some diseases because they have received the antibodies from their mother. Children are given vaccination at a very young age because this is the time when they are at the highest risk for becoming sick. While catching a disease and getting sick, may result in a stronger immunity to the disease, the risk of this approach far outweighs the relative benefits. As an example, contracting measles can put your child at risk of death in a ratio of 1:500 while the number of people who have developed a severe allergic reaction to the MMR vaccine is less than 1:1000000.

Vaccines aren’t needed because infection rates in the United States are already so low:

Immunizations are part of the public health program. Vaccines protect the health of the public. I read an article about immunizations where it mentioned: “We wear a seat belt because we want to be protected in the event of an accident.” We don’t wear it because we expect to be in one”. This is a strong statement which makes a lot of sense. When an unvaccinated child goes to school, he or she can put your child’s life in danger due to a serious infection such as Measles, Whooping cough and so on. Therefore, it is important to protect your children, family, and community starting with a vaccination.

Despite recent anti-vaccine myths that undermine established scientific research and practice, giving your baby all of the recommended vaccination by the appropriate age is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 14 diseases are Chickenpox, Diphtheria, Hib, Hepatitis A & B, Influenza (the flu), Measles, Mumps, Pertussis (whooping cough), Polio, Pneumococcal, rotavirus, rubella, and tetanus. While most young parents have never seen the devastating effects of diseases like Polio, Measles and Whooping cough can have on a child, family, or community, this doesn’t make the threat of these illnesses any less real.

Dr. Assadi Doctor Profile Picture
KHATEREH ASSADI, M.D.

“As a mother, I have vaccinated my child with all his routine immunizations. I believe vaccinations are one of the great achievements of modern medicine. Diseases that once ran rampant and resulted in death and suffering can now be completely prevented with a simple injection. They’re the right choice to protect your child.”

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