Dr. Barbara Huggins

Immunization Myths

August 9, 2007

Immunization Myths -  August 9, 2007It's National Immunization Awareness Month. Immunizations have saved more lives and prevented more disease than any other single medical success. So why are there so many children who don't get their vaccines on time? Dr. Mom reports.

With the beginning of another school year, many parents and children are busy purchasing school supplies, school clothes, and all the necessities to start the year out right. Back to school also brings a special trip to their pediatrician or care provider for their back-to-school check ups which probably will include receiving immunizations and booster shots.

There are a variety of statements regarding immunizations. Some of those myths or misperceptions include:
  1. MYTH
    Because most of the vaccine preventable diseases are rare or have been eliminated, there is no longer any need to immunize.

    Even though some diseases have been eliminated in the United States, these diseases exist in other countries. With international travel, the diseases can easily be brought in from travelers from these countries.

  2. MYTH
    It is not safe for young children to get so many shots

    By the time a child is 2 years old, they normally receive 20 immunizations. These immunizations prevent a variety of diseases that are life threatening.

  3. MYTH
    Vaccines are not safe. Many cause harmful side effects and illnesses

    Even though all vaccines have sides effects ranging from fever, tenderness, and swelling, the side effects far outweigh the effects of these diseases. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration continually work to make already safe vaccines even safer.

  4. MYTH
    The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism

    There is no scientifically proven link between the MMR immunization and autism. Autism is a chronic developmental disorder that is often identified around 18 months of age. The MMR immunization is given just before the peak age of onset of autism. This timing leads some to mistakenly assume the MMR vaccines causes autism.

Immunizations prevent many illnesses and deaths that could occur from communicable diseases. Please don’t let your child fall behind on their immunizations. See you primary care provider if your child is not current on his/her immunizations.

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