Myth and Facts on Vaccines and Autism

MYTH

My child doesn't need vaccines because no one gets certain diseases anymore.

FACT

These diseases still exist, even if they are rare.

 

 

MYTH

 If so many other people are vaccinated, my child doesn't  need vaccines.

FACT

Yes, they do. Relying on 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. When it comes to certain diseases such as 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

There will be fewer side effects if I delay my baby’s vaccinations.

FACT

Vaccines begin at 2 months of age to protect babies as early in life as possible against diseases that can make them very sick (such as pertussis). Babies respond well to vaccines at a very young age. Side effects from vaccination are not more common in young babies than older children.

 

 

MYTH

Vaccines are not adequately tested for safety.

FACT

Vaccines are safe and effective. Like all medicines, vaccines must go through many steps before approves them for use. Vaccines must prove to be safe and effective at preventing the diseases they target.

 

 

MYTH

The MMR vaccine causes autism. 

FACT

No, the MMR vaccine does not cause autism. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Because signs of autism may appear around the same age that children receive the MMR vaccine, some people believe the vaccine causes the condition. 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 The report has been found to be fraudulent, and was withdrawn by the journal that published it.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.

 

 

MYTH

Thimerosal in vaccines causes autism.

FACT

There is no evidence linking thimerosal (a preservative once used in vaccines) to autism or any other developmental disorder. Also, thimerosal has not been used in infant and childhood vaccines for many years. Yet the numbers of children with autism continued to increase, even after thimerosal was stopped being used in vaccines.

 

MYTH

Natural is better. We shouldn't put foreign substances like vaccines into our bodies.

FACT

Natural is not always better. The germs that vaccines protect against are part of nature, but they are harmful. Many things in nature should not be ingested: Some of the most powerful poisons come from plants and berries. Vaccines are made from natural sources. Some vaccines are made from live germs that have undergone changes so they can't cause illness. Others contain only part of the germ that has been pulled out and purified. Vaccines stimulate our immune system the same way the infection would, but without making us sick.