Whether or not to vaccinate children can be a difficult decision for parents. You might feel that you hear so many conflicting reports on the safety of vaccines that it is hard to make an informed choice for the health and safety of your child. By getting the scientific background, you can be sure that you'll have the knowledge you need to do the best thing for your children. Read on for the true facts behind five common vaccination myths.
Vaccines Can Cause Irreparable Damage to Your Child's Health
Though the thought of your child getting seriously ill or even dying after a vaccine is terrifying, the World Health Organization confirms that the vast majority of side effects from vaccines are brief and minor: for example, a sore arm after a shot. While there are some instances where patients develop more serious reactions, these are very rare, and a much smaller risk than exposing a child to the danger of catching a disease while unprotected.
Vaccines Are Not Necessary with Modern Sanitation Practices
Opponents of vaccines believe that the eradication of diseases has coincided with better hygiene of modern society. In fact, however, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that in all cases, the incidence of common illnesses like mumps and measles dropped dramatically only after a vaccination was introduced. Additionally, while proper sanitation is indeed important in disease control, it is also entirely possible to contract major diseases in first-world countries without vaccination.
Vaccines Include Harmful Mercury
This has been and continues to be a matter of great controversy in the health world. While vaccinations once contained a preservative called thimerosal made up of 50 percent mercury, childhood vaccines in the United States have been free of this ingredient since 2001. Although thimerosal is still present in some flu shots, a mercury-free version is also available.
Vaccines Cause Autism
An incendiary 1998 research study linked the childhood vaccines for mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) to developmental disorders, specifically autism. However, this study was not only found to be flawed, it was completely retracted and discredited by the journal that originally published it. According to the World Health Organization, there is no danger of developing autism from vaccination.
The DTaP Vaccine Causes SIDS
One pervasive myth is that since many infants who succumb to SIDS have recently received the DTaP vaccine, that there is a link between this shot and incidences of SIDS. However, this correlation is solely because the majority of SIDS deaths take place during the same age range when this vaccine is given. In fact, studies by the Institute of Medicine have repeatedly found that infants who receive this vaccine are less likely to die from SIDS.
With the help of companies like AES Clean, scientists are discovering new ways to fight disease and refine our vaccines all the time. While there is a lot of misinformation floating around, including these 5 myths, the truth is that vaccinating children is important and safe. Healthy decision should always be based on science and medical advice. If you need more information about what vaccines your child needs, talk to his or her doctor.