5 Vaccine Myths that can Undermine Your Health

The discovery of vaccines is one of the greatest discoveries in the field of healthcare and medicine. They are instrumental in the eradication of some of the deadliest diseases in the planet.


Despite its being a medical marvel, many people are still reluctant to get vaccine shots because of misinformation and false beliefs about it. If by chance you’ll happen to bump into some talk shows, political debates or social interaction regarding this subject, you will certainly find out that vaccines are really surrounded by myths and wrong information.


If you hear a story about vaccines and you are not sure about its veracity, you better verify that information with a medical professional. Believing in anything other people are saying about vaccines can undermine your health and the health of your loved ones.


Here are five of the most common vaccine myths you must stop  believing:


1. Vaccines can trigger autism.


This is a myth that refuses to fade away despite efforts of medical science to dispute it with accompanying evidence. In a 2015 study, 95,000 children were subjected to measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccines. The researchers who conducted the study found that the vaccine is in no way linked to the risk of autism – even in children who have siblings that were proven autistic. This is just one of the long list of findings that prove vaccines are not linked to autism.


2. If I chose not to get vaccinated, my own health is at risk.


While its possible that you can become a carrier if you are not vaccinated, there is still a little chance that you can get sick if the people around you received the vaccine. While this is possible, it would still be prudent t stick to the fact that vaccines are most effective when entire populations get them. This is what the medical field calls “herd immunity.” This means that if a majority of the people in a community are immunized, those who didn’t receive the vaccine still have some kind of protection simply because the people around them cannot get infected and won’t get sick.


3. Your children don’t need to get vaccinated for a disease that’s been eradicated.


Although the possibility of an outbreak is quite remote in this case, still it won’t be wise to get complacent because it can put the health of your child in possible jeopardy. It is always good to embrace the principle of herd immunity. While it is true that certain diseases have been wiped out in many places, there is no guarantee that they have been totally eradicated everywhere. If some people in a community are not vaccinated, we can only wonder why some diseases which are long gone are popping up again.


4. Vaccines are only for children – they’re not for adults.


The majority of social interactions about vaccines are focused on their effect and influence on children. For this reason, many people assume that these medical solutions are not for adults.


Most formulas are designed to be given in early childhood. The tetanus, diptheria and pertusis vaccine for example is ideal for children but it should be followed up with boosters over time in order to be effective. Additionally, health institutions nowadays are administiring TDaP to the children’s parents and grandparents to make sure that the kids’ health are safeguarded.


Flu vaccines on the other hand are intended for everyone regardless of age. Everyone is susceptible to influenza. Therefore, each person must be vaccinated on a yearly basis in order to get immunity from flu.


5. Getting a vaccine can make you sick.


A vaccine is designed to keep you protected from the illness it is intended to shield you from. It can’t make you sick at all although you may feel pain or mild symptoms after the vaccine is administered. A flu vaccine for example is intended to shield you from flu; you can not catch flu with it. 


There is however one possible side effect of vaccines. Some of them can trigger allergic reactions. Though this is possible, allergy cases involving the use of vaccines are rare and if it does occur, it is closely monitored by the medical personnel administering the vaccination.


Vaccines are actually designed and created for a good purpose. They are  product of thorough and careful study and experimentation including lots of medical technology conference discussions. The discomfort you may feel is just an irrelevant fraction of the protection vaccines can provide. You should stop believing in myths about them. They can actually get you covered and protected from identified health threats.


photo credit for featured image: PATH Global Health (flickr.com)

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