Vaccines have existed for long and they have existed for a reason- to provide mankind with the immunity to live a long and healthy life. The aim has been to eradicate fatal diseases that reach the height of the epidemic, killing millions of people. However, people irrespective of learned as well as doubtful ones have always questioned the importance and necessity of vaccines and vaccination. Various anti-vaccine myths have also established in the process.
Here, the digital health platform India will try to break the myths regarding anti-vaccine beliefs.
The various anti-vaccine myths
The World Health Organization or WHO has answered several questions on the importance of vaccines. They also have busted the following anti-vaccine myths religiously.
Proper Hygiene, Sanitation, Clean Water Reduces the Need for Vaccines
This is quite a popular myth and a deep-seated confusion in the minds of people. Vaccines are necessary whether you are maintaining good hygiene or not. Proper sanitation and clear water along with nutrition cannot stop infectious diseases from spreading. Immunization or ‘herd immunity’ performed by vaccines prevent infectious diseases from spreading and recurring. Some diseases spread irrespective of cleanliness and hygiene. To prevent them, vaccines are mandatory. Sometimes the uncommon diseases get a chance to relapse if the vaccination course remains incomplete.
Many people question the safety of vaccines. Vaccines are safe as they receive approval from WHO after passing through rigorous testing and trials. They are also reassessed and monitored regularly to maintain their effectiveness. In case of any adverse effect, the scientists will know about it before any of us do. Vaccines do have side effects but those are minor and mild like a fever. The benefits of vaccination are much more than the adverse effects and thus these are mandatory to prevent fatality in humans.
Natural Infections is Stronger than Vaccines
It is a false belief that natural immunity is stronger than vaccines. Certain types of diseases occur as a result of infection and only vaccines can decode them. Vaccines interact with the immune system within the body producing an immune response. Vaccines do not put a life at risk; instead, natural infections come with risks like cognitive impairment and also birth defects.
The vaccine is Unnecessary in Faraway Lands
Among the various anti-vaccine myths, many people believe that vaccines are unnecessary for diseases that they do not face in their community. Recently, people in Western Europe suffered from measles outbreak killing millions of people in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, and many other places. Vaccinations protect us along with the people around us. It is about taking up the responsibility for yourself and also your community.
Multiple Vaccines Cause Side Effects
Science has proven more than once that no one suffers from any negative effects when vaccinated multiple times. This myth is especially concerned about the children. But we must also remember that children are exposed to a majority of foreign bodies than adults. They eat, breathe and live bacteria and viruses. They are exposed to more antigens from the flu or common cold than vaccines. The biggest benefits of multiple vaccines at a time mean fewer visits to clinics, saving time and money. Combined vaccination also provides more protection than a single one in children. For example, mumps, rubella, and measles can be prevented with combined vaccines. Nowadays, painless injections are available for children to ease the process.
Vaccine Cannot Protect Against Influenza
Influenza has been underestimated by people for a long time. But the fact is that it can kill 300,000-500,000 people every year; thus it is serious and fatal. Children, pregnant women, and elderly people get killed by influenza. It also attacks people with poor health conditions and the ones suffering from asthma. Even people with a heart condition are prone to flu which can be fatal for them. Vaccinating a pregnant woman can save the life of a child as well. Vaccines prevent the most prevalent strains of influenza circulating in every circle. Flu prevention saves health, money, and resources as well.
Vaccines Preservatives are Harmful
Vaccines are preserved and that is true. However, the preservative used is Thiomersal which is an organic mercury compound causing no side effects to the ones vaccinated. It is a safe preservative and vaccine vials worldwide use it. Mostly, multi-dose vials use it for preserving the vaccines, so that it could be used for an extended period. For the skeptics- there is no evidence that this preservative is harmful or poses a health risk for the people.
Autism is Associated with Vaccines
The biggest among the popular anti-vaccine myths is the relation between autism and vaccines. With the publishing of this study, there was a roar of concern in the medical sector. However, later it was found that the study his fraudulent and contains major flaws. The journal that published the study also retracted the paper. However, at the time of publishing this study caused fear among individuals. as a result, there was a drop in the immunization rates. Though it could not control the outbreak of different dangerous diseases. However, fortunately, now people know that there is no connection between vaccines and Autism.
Vaccines are essential in leading a healthy life for entire generations. For example, combined vaccines can prevent mumps, rubella and measles. However, the medical fraternity has busted the myths time and again to reinforce the belief of people in vaccination. Vaccines or vaccination do not pose any danger or harm individuals, instead, they protect them from many su ch diseases and disorders which can not only kill them but also pose a health risk for their progeny.
It is important to differentiate the myths from reality. That is why, iieHealth, online health portal India keeps you updated with health-related information.