With the cold weather of winter comes illness and with illness comes the big push for the flu shot. But, vaccinations have caused quite a stir over the past decade, so we wanted to try and set the record straight.
The CDC (2019) believes that one of the biggest things holding people back from vaccinating with confidence are all of the myths surrounding this lifesaving practice.
Let’s take a look at five of the top vaccine myths, according to PublicHealth.org (n.d.):
- Vaccines Cause Autism – A 1997 article was published by a then Dr. Andrew Wakefield, whose research was discredited for multiple reasons and then Mr. Wakefield’s medical license was revoked. Further studies on this concept have shown no credible link between the two.
- Vaccines Contain Toxins – While it is true that certain vaccines contain trace amounts of scary sounding substances, including formaldehyde, mercury, and aluminum, it is important to know that the human body produces more formaldehyde naturally than a vaccine would contain. Also, significant research has been done and the small amounts of each of these substances has never been found to do harm.
- Infants Cannot Handle So Many Vaccines – The bottom line is that immunizations are negligible compared to the onslaught of bacteria and viruses that small children are exposed to on a daily basis. If all of the recommended vaccines were given all about once, they would only take up about .1% of a child’s immune system.
- Vaccines Can Infect Recipients With the Disease – While a very small percentage of the population sees any type of reaction to vaccines beyond a minor fever or soreness, the symptoms that do occur (less than 1 in 1 million cases) are caused by the immune system’s response to vaccine; it is not a sign of infection because of the vaccine.
- There’s No Need to Vaccinate With Infection Rates So Low – “Herd Immunity” seems probable at first glance, but considering the large number of people who are unable to be vaccinated, especially those with already compromised immune systems, those who can be vaccinated but choose not to are then putting others at a greater risk.
CDC. (2019). Vaccinate with Confidence. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/partners/vaccinate-with-confidence.html
PublicHealth.org. (n.d.) Vaccine Myths Debunked. Retrieved from: https://www.publichealth.org/public-awareness/understanding-vaccines/vaccine-myths-debunked/