More than 80% of American children ages 18-35 months receive vaccinations against childhood diseases. But that means about 20% of children don’t get vaccinated. Many children who don’t get vaccinated are unable to do so because their parents believe vaccinations are harmful. The medical professionals at Ross Bridge Medical Center want you to know the truth about vaccinations, so you can separate the myths and facts about this controversial subject.
What are vaccinations?
Vaccines are dead or weakened germs of dangerous diseases that are introduced into your body to trigger your immune system. When triggered, your immune system produces antibodies to protect you against contracting the disease.
After you’ve been vaccinated, if you come into contact with the germ again, you’re body will be able to fight it off since you have built up antibodies in your immune system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccinating your children on these schedules.
What are the myths surrounding vaccines?
Several untruths or partial truths surround the subject of vaccinations.
Vaccines can cause autism
This myth began in 1997 when a British surgeon published a paper that suggested that the MMR vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella increased autism among British children.
Since then, the paper has repeatedly been discredited, because it had procedural errors and conflicts of interest that were never disclosed. Several major studies have debunked the link between vaccines and autism. Furthermore, severe reactions to vaccinations are rare.
Infants can’t handle so many vaccines at once
Babies are stronger than they look. Their immune systems can handle up to 10,000 vaccines at once, according to PublicHealth.org, which publishes free health care resources for students, professionals, and patients.
Babies’ immune systems are bombarded by an incalculable number of antigens every day. Vaccine antigens are negligible in comparison.
Vaccine immunity isn’t as good as natural immunity
This is only partially true. While getting and surviving a disease will provide a stronger immunity than the one provided by a vaccination, you have to look at the cost.
A child who contracts measles has a 1 in 500 chance of dying from the disease. The same child has a 1 in 1 million chance of having a severe allergic reaction to the MMR vaccine.
If your child is ready for vaccinations, or if you just want to discuss the topic, book an appointment online or over the phone with Ross Bridge Medical Center today.