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Vaccine Myths

Myth: Vaccinations are no longer necessary as the diseases that we vaccinate for have already disappeared!

FACT:

  • Some diseases remain so common that without the vaccine the disease is almost guaranteed to occur (i.e. Chickenpox).
  • Some diseases may not be common but still exist in our country (i.e. Measles, Mumps and Pertussis). Vaccines can protect us and protect those around us from spreading these illnesses.
  • Some diseases that do not exist in our country are common in other countries (Polio, Diphtheria). Because world travel is now so common, travellers or immigrants may bring disease into the country.
  • Some diseases are caused by bacteria that live in the environment (Tetanus). They only way to protect yourself is by vaccination.

 

Myth: Vaccines are bad for my body and too many vaccines may harm my immune system.

FACT :

  • Vaccines strengthen the immune system and protect us from some serious diseases.
  • Vaccines are not strong enough to overload the immune system’s memory.
  • Scientists believe the body can recognize and respond to about 10,000 different organisms at one time.
  • Everyday we are exposed to many types of germs while eating, drinking, playing, and working.

 

Myth: I am too old to be vaccinated. Vaccines are only for children

FACT :

  • Some vaccines require the use of a booster to increase the protection that the vaccine provides.
  • Getting a booster dose ensures that our immune system is at it’s best fighting ability to protect our bodies from illness and disease.
  • No matter what your age, vaccinations such as Tetanus and Diphtheria, should be kept up to date for best protection
  • Some vaccinations are just as important for older people as they are for younger people, such as Pneumococcal, and some protect us from yearly illnesses, such as Influenza.
  • You are NEVER too old to be vaccinated.

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Myth: If I live a healthy lifestyle I won’t need to receive vaccines to be protected from diseases

FACT :

  • A healthy lifestyle is always a good choice. Staying healthy will increase the body’s ability to fight infection.
  • Most illnesses can still make you very sick even if you are very healthy.
  • Vaccinations strengthen your immune system by safely introducing an antigen to the body. The only other way for the body to recognise the antigen is if the body is exposed to natural infection which can cause illness or even death.

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Myth: Vaccinations are not really effective. Many people still get sick after being vaccinated

FACT :

  • Vaccines are VERY effective.
  • Countries with successful immunization programs had a decrease in preventable illnesses.
  • Countries where immunization programs failed saw a rise in disease rates and death.
  • No vaccine is 100% effective.

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Myth: Vaccines can cause autism and seizures

FACT :

  • There is no link between autism and vaccinations. Autism usually shows up in the first 18 months of life and this is also a time period when many vaccines are given. Many studies have been completed and no link has been found between vaccines and autism.
  • Vaccines can cause fevers in some children that may lead to seizures. These are called ‘Febrile Seizures’ and usually occur in children whose parents or siblings have experienced them. A fever from any source can trigger a febrile seizure in about 3% of children. The number of children who experience febrile seizures after vaccination is very low. Febrile seizures do not cause brain damage.

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