Vaccine : Myth & Facts
Immunization is one of the most important ways to keep your child healthy. Vaccines are very safe. There are rarely reasons to not get vaccinated. Below are some common myths and facts about vaccines.
MYTH: Most diseases are not serious.
FACT: All of the diseases that children are vaccinated against are serious.
They can all cause serious illness, complications and death, even with the best medical care. Many of these diseases also have no cure.
- Measles outbreaks still happen. Complications occur in about 10% of cases. For every 1,000 cases of measles, 1 or 2 of those people will die.
- Pertussis (whooping cough) can kill but very rarely. About 1 in 400 babies who survive pertussis has permanent brain damage.
- Tetanus kills 10% or more of its victims.
MYTH: My child doesn’t need vaccines because no one gets these diseases anymore.
Many of the vaccine-preventable diseases that are uncommon in Canada still occur in other parts of the world. With travel and immigration, there is a real risk of these diseases being brought into Canada. Any child who is not vaccinated is at risk when infections are “imported”.
MYTH: If so many other people are vaccinated, my child doesn’t need vaccines.
FACT: Yes, they do. Relying on the actions of other parents to protect your unvaccinated child only works if everyone else is vaccinated. If many parents take this attitude, fewer children will be immunized and diseases will start to spread quickly.
And when it comes to tetanus, whether other people are vaccinated makes no difference to your child’s safety. Tetanus is caused when bacteria from the soil get into a wound.
MYTH: It’s better to get vaccines one at a time.
MYTH: There will be fewer side effects if I delay my baby’s vaccinations.
MYTH: Vaccines are not adequately tested for safety.
MYTH: The MMR vaccine causes autism.
Much of the controversy over the MMR vaccine and autism came from a single paper published in 1998 that suggested a link. The report has been found to be fraudulent, and was withdrawn by the journal that published it. Many large scientific studies around the world have found no link between the MMR vaccine and autism.
There is no evidence to link any other vaccines to autism. The number of children with autism seems to have increased in recent years. This is because the diagnosis of autism now includes children with milder symptoms who would not have been included in the past. There is also greater public awareness of autism, and more parents are seeking help. Scientists recently found a gene linked to autism.