Protecting a child from harmful parts of life is a desire of virtually every parent. Some go to great lengths to childproof their homes to guard against accidents or prevent poisoning. Yet there are still some parents confused about the myths and facts surrounding routine childhood vaccinations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declare that vaccines are one of the greatest public health successes ever. Diseases like smallpox and polio are at or near extinction levels, and infectious diseases like diphtheria, measles, and whooping cough exist only in low levels, sparing new generations from exposure to these potentially harmful health threats.
Childhood vaccinations work. They’re safe and one of the best ways to guard your child against disease. Dr 2 Kids, Smita Tandon, MD and her team know the facts and work to dispel the persistent myths that continue to interfere with the best health care your child could have. We’ve collected some of the most common vaccination myths, and the truths behind them, here today.
Myth: Vaccines contain harmful chemicals
While water is essential for life, there’s a narrow range of safe intake. If you don’t have enough water, you can dehydrate. Drinking too much water can lead to a condition called water intoxication. Both conditions could be fatal.
Any chemical is safe until it’s outside of its own range of intake. This is true of vaccine ingredients. Aluminum and formaldehyde may be part of a vaccine, but they’re never present in harmful levels. You don’t worry about water intoxication when you give your child water on a hot day. Neither should you worry about the level of substances present in a vaccine injection.
Myth: Natural immunity is better than vaccine immunity
Catching a vaccine-preventable disease naturally can give your child’s immune system it needs to fight off the disease in the future. However, your child may have to deal with the damage that these diseases cause. Measles can kill, and some types of influenza can leave your child intellectually disabled. These outcomes are prevented with routine childhood vaccinations.
Myth: Vaccines cause autism
A study that’s since been discredited and withdrawn suggested a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. Many, many more studies found no connection. About 1 in every 44 children are diagnosed as on the autism spectrum disorder according to CDC estimates. This is the same rate for all children, vaccinated or not.
Myth: Vaccines can spread disease
Your child cannot develop a disease from the contents of a vaccine. It may help to think of the immune system as a computer and a vaccine as software. The vaccine gives important pieces of information to the immune system about a disease, so that the body can recognize and defeat disease. The vaccine carries only incomplete genetic information about a disease. It does not contain an active form of the disease, and your child can’t catch what isn’t there.
Simply, immunization is one of the greatest health gifts you can give a child, after your own DNA. You can partner with Dr. Tandon and her team to ensure that your child benefits from the full slate of effective and safe immunizations available today.
Reach out to our office by phone or online to schedule an immunization session. We will review your child’s history and recommend the vaccines they need to come up-to-date with their protection. Make your appointment today.