Vaccines have helped several kids stay alive from diseases that would have claimed their precious lives. Dangerous diseases such as the Flu (Influenza), Hepatitis A & B, Measles, Polio, Mumps, Diphtheria, Whooping Cough (Pertussis), Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Chickenpox (Varicella), and so on can now be prevented or eradicated by using appropriate vaccines. Despite its usefulness since it was introduced in the 1940s, the vaccine has always been dogged by some myths, all of which have already been proved baseless or untrue through countless research and studies. Some of these recurrent myths are highlighted below:
Myth 1: Vaccines have some unsafe toxins
Even though some FDA-approved vaccines contain toxic substances such as mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, only trace amounts of these substances are used in making the vaccines. This indicates that their presence in the human body is very small and cannot pose any danger to the body. Interestingly enough, human bodies produce a higher quantity of formaldehyde than the amount used in vaccines.
Myth 2: Vaccines can cause autism
The idea that vaccines may cause autism in children was first publicized by a British Surgeon, Andrew Wakefield, in 1997. Andrew has since lost his medical license for impropriety and the journal, The Lancet, that published his findings has since been discredited for improper medical procedures. Recent studies have shown that autism actually develops in the utero, long before the child was born or given any vaccinations.
Myth 3: A vaccine can infect my child with the disease it is trying to fight
Some parents worry that vaccines may infect their children with the same diseases they are fighting. This is not true; it takes one in a million cases for that to happen! Vaccines may cause mild symptoms that may appear like those of the diseases they try to combat. But those mild symptoms should not be considered as a sign of infection. What actually happens in this situation is that those mild symptoms indicate that the vaccinated child’s immune system is responding to the vaccines and not to the diseases.
Myth 4: Infant immune systems can be overwhelmed by vaccines
Many parents wrongly believe that their infant child immune system may not be able to handle so many vaccines at the same time. This is a baseless argument. Theoretically, a baby can respond to about 10,000 vaccines at one time. Even if 12-14 vaccines are scheduled at once, this will only use up 1.4% of the baby immune system.
Myth 5: Natural immunity versus vaccine-acquired immunity
Some people believe that natural immunity may be better than vaccine-acquired immunity. This may be true to some extent, but its benefits are far less than its possible dangers. Take for instance, if a parent expects his/her child to recover naturally from measles, such a child has 1-in-500 chance of dying. However, when vaccines are used, the child has a one-in-a-million chance of dying from the severe allergic reactions caused by the MMR vaccine.
My baby and vaccines
Make sure you consult your doctor before, during, and after surrendering your baby for vaccinations. It is helpful to be fully aware of all the necessary procedures that will help your child recover completely from its illness.