Childhood Vaccinations: Myth vs. Fact

There has been a lot of controversy in recent years over the vaccination of babies and adolescents. As a result, some parents are choosing not to vaccinate and that may be a very dangerous decision for both child and society. After all, when our parents and grandparents were young, contracting polio, measles, and other life threatening illnesses was the number one cause of death for children. Many of us are too young to be aware of how that fear gripped so many people’s lives at one time. There are many myths surrounding childhood vaccinations, but what are the real facts?

MYTH- A vaccine may cause the child to contract the disease it was intended to prevent.

FACT- There used to be live viruses in the Oral Polio Vaccine, but there is no longer. Even when there was, the chance that a child would contract polio from it was extremely small. There are some live bacteria in the MMR and chickenpox vaccines but on the outside chance a child contracts one, it will be much less severe than if they caught the disease from another human being.

MYTH- Vaccines cause autism.

FACT- This is the most hotly debated issue in vaccinations today. However, there has been no conclusive evidence to prove autism is caused by the MMR vaccine. Although children seem to develop autism around the same time the vaccine is administered, studies show that the same percentage of non-vaccinated children will develop autism. However, it remains a widespread myth that causes many parents to dangerously forgo the shots.

MYTH- Vaccines cause SIDS.

FACT- Sadly, no one knows what causes SIDS, the number one killer of children under the age of 1. Thanks to our friend the Internet, this is another widespread and damaging myth. In fact, SIDS cases have fallen 50% in recent years, despite the fact that more vaccines are being administered than ever. Years ago, the number one killer of children under 1 was not SIDS, but diseases that vaccinations prevent!

MYTH- If everyone else is vaccinating their children, then mine won’t need to be.

FACT- A ridiculous line of thinking. What if everyone else is thinking the way you are? Then no one will be vaccinated!

MYTH- If these diseases are no longer a large threat, then there is no reason for the vaccinations.

FACT- The vaccinations are the reason these diseases are largely gone from the population!

Those are just a few of the major myths surrounding childhood vaccines. Not only is it a responsiblilty of the parent to keep their children well, they have a social responsibility not to spread these dangerous, sometimes fatal diseases. Yes, everyone should have the freedom to research and make their own decisions for their child, but if they are using any of the above myths as fact, we are all at risk.

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