Now-a-days, lots of parents are concerned about the side effects or reactions of vaccinations, and often forget about focusing on the positive effect. Thus, it is our best intention to shed some light on common myths related to vaccines. Let’s have a look:-
Myth-1: Vaccines are comprised of toxic preservatives
Many vaccines before 1999 contained Thimerosal, a compound that prevented vaccines from being contaminated by bacteria. This compound contains a form of mercury in it called ethyl mercury. Mercury in large quantities is harmful for the child. In the year 1999, most of the childhood vaccines have been free from Thimerosal, apart from a few exceptions. Moreover, a group of members in a medical institute conducted a study to check the content of mercury in urine, blood and stool of the children who took vaccines containing ethyl mercury with those who took vaccines without ethyl mercury. It was found that in both of these cases the level of mercury was found to be much lower than the ones mentioned in public safety limit.
Myth-2: As major diseases have largely disappeared, we don’t need vaccines
This is a misconception that most parents have, regarding vaccination for their children. Even though majority of the population are free from a particular disease, it should not be considered as being eradicated. There are so many people coming in and out of our country, of which we do not have any control over their vaccination habits. Someone coming from a foreign land might bring along the disease with him/her.
Myth-3: Vaccines are responsible for causing autism and several other diseases
This is a common notion that has been found among a lot of parents. This is largely due to a case report from England wherein disorder autism got kicked in after a vaccination. It should be noted that a lot of vaccines are given to a child during the first year and a disorder arising during that time is linked to be due to a vaccine.
Image Courtesy: vaccines.procon.org
Myth-4: My child might get a disease it is supposed to prevent
The vaccines for disease like polio were initially formulated containing weakened polio virus. Until it was phased out about 20 years back, a minor population got infected due to it. This is precisely the reason some people have this myth. Now that the earlier version of vaccine is phased out, the vaccines today contain killed viruses for a particular disease. This eliminates any risk of child getting infected due to the vaccine itself.
Myth-5: A child having cold should not take vaccines
It is always advisable to take care of the physical fitness of a child before giving a vaccine. A high temperature fever or flu should be a reason strong enough to prevent vaccination, but minor cold or fever should not stop the child from being vaccinated.
Myth-6: Vaccines can provide complete protection against disease
This is indeed not true. The best vaccines are made with live weakened virus and they are 95% effective whereas the vaccines made out of dead viruses are about 75% effective. This means no vaccine will give you 100% protection, but if the majority of the population has been vaccinated, the risk of dispersion of disease is negligible.
Myth-7: Vaccines should be given to children only after certain age
Vaccines should be given to the children when it is needed the most. Waiting for the child to grow and not giving the vaccine during the most vulnerable stage will put the baby at high risk.
All these are general observations and recommendations, in the end it’s the parents call regarding these observations. However, we would stress on the fact that vaccinations should be done as per child’s health requirements.
Featured Image Courtesy: healthfreedoms.org