Immunizations prevent millions of deaths every year. But not everyone believes that.
There are quite a few myths people believe about vaccines and how they can cause autism or something else that can hurt the mind and body. That’s the power of misinformation when it comes to vaccines.
There is a sea of misinformation on vaccines, which creates vaccine myths. It leads people to believe that vaccines are dangerous and are a conspiracy to control us.
That’s why it’s important to understand the truth behind vaccines. It’s crucial to look at credible sources and understand what medical science says about vaccines and why they are important to our health.
Here are 7 vaccine myths debunked that can help you understand the benefits and the truth behind vaccines.
1. Vaccines Cause Autism
One of the vaccine myths is that it causes autism. This myth is very prevalent and among the more popular myths.
However, this myth has been debunked. It was a false claim that originally started in the 1990s when Andrew Wakefield wrote a paper that linked autism to vaccines.
Since his paper, however, there have been multiple studies that have debunked this claim.
One of the reasons that more kids have autism these days is that more kids are being diagnosed thanks to better screening. Also, autism usually begins around 18 months, which is the same time kids have their vaccine shots.
2. Vaccines Contain Mercury That’s Harmful
Another myth around vaccines is that it contains mercury, which is harmful. Specifically, vaccines contain thimerosal, a mercury preservative, that can cause harm to children.
However, this myth is also debunked. In the early 2000s, mercury was removed from vaccines because of the level of concern and how much was in vaccines. But evidence also suggested that the mercury found in vaccines before it was removed was, in fact, safe.
Overall, thimerosal was never found to be harmful to people getting vaccines.
3. Natural Immunity Is Better Than Vaccines
Some people believe that when you get sick and recover and you build antibodies to that sickness it’s better than vaccines.
But that’s not always true. If you want to have immunity to measles and completely avoid getting it, you need a vaccine.
4. Infants Can’t Handle Vaccines
Another vaccine myth is that infants’ immune systems can’t handle vaccines.
However, this myth is false because a baby’s immune system, according to studies, can handle a lot of germs and sicknesses. A baby’s immune system can withstand thousands of vaccines.
5. If Everyone Else Is Vaccinated, Then I’m Protected
Some people believe that if everyone else is already vaccinated, then there is no harm to you or someone else infecting each other. However, this is a myth because herd immunity only works when a large population is immunized.
Herd immunity requires 90% to 95% of the community to have immunity. If fewer than that percentage has immunity, there’s a higher risk of something happening that can cause infection.
Choosing not to vaccinate doesn’t guarantee you or someone else is protected from disease because you think everyone has herd immunity. That’s a false assumption.
6. Better Hygiene Is Better Than a Vaccine
Another myth that has been debunked is that hygiene is better than a vaccine. The rationale is that washing your hands is better than getting vaccinated.
Some people believe that if you practice property sanitation, you are protected from any potential diseases. Better hygiene also involves eating healthy that helps prevent specific diseases.
While it’s true that good hygiene and health habits help reduce your chances of getting sick, they don’t prevent infectious diseases from spreading more widely. For example, measles was drastically reduced during the 1960s after the vaccine was developed.
People during that time practiced good hygiene, but even so, it still didn’t slow the number of measles cases during that time. But with the introduction of the measles vaccine, measles dropped by 90%.
7. Vaccines Can Infect My Child
Another common vaccine myth is that vaccines will give your child a disease that it’s trying to prevent.
On the contrary, vaccines do have side effects but do not infect children with the disease. Some side effects of vaccines may be soreness, mild fever, feeling tired, and headaches.
Some people also claim to catch the flu after receiving the flu shot. If this happens, it’s often because that person caught a different strain of the flu than the one they were vaccinated for. The vaccine is designed to match that year’s most prevalent strain but doesn’t protect against all possible types.
What Can You Learn About These Myths?
These myths are often hyperbolized, making it vital to separate fact from fiction. Take time to learn what sources to trust. Read up on information from the CDC and other reliable health organizations that offer credible evidence on vaccines and how they help prevent disease.
Overall, it’s important to look at the evidence from health organizations and the history of vaccines rather than follow a rabbit trail of theories. You can also find more information on vaccines and how they are stored from this post.
Why It’s Important to Separate Vaccine Myths From Facts
Misinformation exists everywhere. With anyone being able to voice their opinion on social media, create a website, and publish content anywhere, it makes it harder to separate a vaccine myth from facts.
But that’s why this article can help you see the danger of vaccine myths. These myths are far from the truth, but often get spread like wildfire from person to person. It’s important to do your research and find medical evidence that supports the truth behind vaccines.
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