Since 2018, the issues surrounding giving vaccinations to infants and small children has been a major concern in the healthcare community. To make matters worse, the COVID-19 pandemic that crippled the health system all over the world causing lockdowns and isolations has also affected the regularly scheduled vaccinations for our young ones.
Vaccines are necessary in reducing the risk of individuals getting infected by certain diseases and subsequently lessens the risk of transmitting it to someone else. This contributes to the reduction of the total number of people getting those diseases.
Many people have varying opinions regarding the importance of having your children vaccinated. There are many skeptics and misconceptions about vaccinations that have been affecting parents’ decision about whether to complete their children’s shots. Below we address those misconceptions and evaluate them from a medical point of view.
- Children’s Immune Systems are Weak
Some would argue that a child’s immune system cannot handle so many vaccines, but it is much stronger than you think. Based on the number of antibodies present in the blood, a baby theoretically can respond to around 10,000 vaccines at one time. The immune system could never truly be overwhelmed because the cells in the system are constantly being replenished. Babies are exposed to countless bacteria and viruses every day, and immunizations pale in comparison.
- Natural Immunity vs. Vaccine-Acquired Immunity
Another misconception is that natural immunity is better than vaccine-acquired immunity. While it is true that natural immunity lasts longer in some cases than vaccine-induced immunity can, the risks of natural infection outweigh the risks of immunization for every recommended vaccine. There is no point in attempting to develop immunity from a disease by suffering from that disease instead of choosing safe and effective vaccinations.
- Vaccines are Unsafe
There is a popular misconception that vaccines contain unsafe toxins. It is disheartening but understandable to consider that people’s fears are beings fueled by a lack of understanding of chemistry and toxicology. A recognizable ingredient of vaccines is formaldehyde, which is used in vaccine preparation to kill viruses or inactivate the proteins used. Many people are colloquially familiar with the very negative characteristics of formaldehyde and traces of it can be found in some vaccines, but the amount present in vaccines never exceeds 0.1 milligrams (mg) per dose and is typically much less than that. This is true for other vaccine ingredients that one may perceive as harmful.
With these misconceptions comes an important question relating to the Coronavirus outbreak… What can it teach us about other diseases and the decision to vaccinate?
This pandemic teaches us how valuable vaccines are. It shows us that when there is a safe and effective vaccine available for disease prevention, we should keep our children and ourselves up to date with that vaccination. At present, scientists and experts are racing to develop a vaccine for this novel virus- a basic reminder that without the protection of vaccines, diseases can spread quickly and with terrible consequences.
There may be myths and misunderstandings about how vaccines work but don’t forget to consider the fact that it’s your child’s health on the table. As a parent, it is vital to give them the best protection that you can during these trying times.
Do you have questions about vaccines? Send Village Doctor a message today.