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Immunization
Myths:
Safety Facts vs.
Fiction

Like most of us, it’s normal if your focus over the past few months has been on navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. With so much national attention on the need for a coronavirus vaccine, now is a good time to revisit the topic of immunizations and important role they play in keeping us safe and healthy.
 
In today’s blog, we’ll focus on some common misconceptions surrounding vaccines so that you can feel confident in the health decisions you make for you and your family.
 
 
  1. Vaccinations can give you the illness they’re supposed to prevent.
You may have heard that the flu shot can give you the flu. While this isn’t true, you may experience some mild symptoms afterward while your body adjusts and builds up immunity. The same is true for other vaccines.
 
  1. Vaccines cause autism.
Nothing credibly substantiates a connection between autism and the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. While some claim the increased use of vaccinations has caused an increase in autism, experts believe is it simply greater awareness of the disease and an ability to accurately diagnose it that accounts for the increase. The origins of this myth can be traced back to a study from 1998 that was later found to be fraudulent.[1],[2]  Since then, many studies have found no link between MMR and autism.[3],[4],[5]
 
  1. It’s better to build up a natural immunity.
As we now see with coronavirus, those who are exposed to a virus may develop potent antibodies to guard against future infection. However, the risk of death or severe complications is high. Intentionally exposing the general population to a virus as a method to build up immunity would only result in another widespread health crisis.
 
These are just three of the common myths surrounding vaccinations. With so much misinformation out there, it’s important that you know your decision to receive a vaccine is based on solid facts. If you have further questions or concerns, you should discuss them with your primary care physician or your child’s pediatrician.
   

Citations

1Deer, B. “Andrew Wakefield: the fraud investigation” Retrieved from:
 https://briandeer.com/mmr/lancet-summary.htm (Aug. 2020)
2Deer, B. “Revealed: MMR research scandal” The Sunday Times 22 Feb. 2004. Retrieved from: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/revealed-mmr-research-scandal-7ncfntn8mjq (Aug. 2020)
3DeStefano F et al. “Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides
in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism.” The Journal of Pediatrics (2013) https://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(13)00144-3/pdf?ext=.pdf
4Jain, A; Marshall, J; Ami Buikema, A et al. “Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among US Children With Older Siblings With and Without Autism” JAMA. 2015 vol. 313,15:1534-1540 . Retrieved from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2275444 (Aug. 2020)
5 Hviid, A. Vinsløv Hansen,J; Frisch,M; Melbye, M. “Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccination and Autism: A Nationwide Cohort Study.” Ann Intern Med. 16 Apr 2019. vol. 170, 8: 513-520. Retrieved from:
 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30831578/
Posted: 9/18/2020 2:56:12 PM by John Lynch


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