Experts at Dubai London Clinic shine light on the various myths surrounding paediatric vaccines
25 April 2019| Last updated on 28 April 2019
The introduction of vaccines for the prevention of health-threatening and often fatal infections was a breakthrough with a dramatic reduction of infant and childhood morbidity and mortality since the 20th century till date.
Below are some of the most common myths about vaccines and its related facts:
Myth #1: Most diseases are not serious
Fact: Diseases against which children are vaccinated are considered serious and health-endangering. They can cause complications and can be life-threatening.
Myth #2: No need for the vaccines as no one gets those diseases anymore
Fact: These health menaces still exist, even if they are rare. Thanks to the zealous regional and international vaccination programs, all vaccine-preventable ailments have declined. But when immunization rates drop, these diseases can come back and hit our communities like a hurricane. With relative ease of travelling and immigration, there is still a risk of these diseases being spread. Unvaccinated children are at risk when such infections are `imported`.
Myth #3: If everyone else is being vaccinated, my child doesn’t need the vaccines
Fact: Oh no... They do! If many parents apply this concept, fewer and fewer children will be vaccinated with gradual decline in immunization rates and diseases will start to spread quickly once again.
Myth #4: Combined vaccines are dangerous, it’s better to get one vaccine at a time
Fact: Children are healthier nowadays worldwide because of the use of combination vaccines which are proven to be safe and effective. Getting more than one vaccine at once means rapid protection, fewer clinic visits and fewer injections. The child`s immune system is not stretched at all by receiving several vaccines at once. The misconception of delaying vaccines to ‘distribute the load’ can leave the child unprotected against precarious diseases for longer.
Myth #5: Vaccines are not adequately tested for safety
Fact: Every licensed and recommended vaccine goes through long years of extensive and careful testing for safety. Moreover, it is monitored indefinitely after licensure for use. Vaccines save lives.
Myth #6: Breastfeeding protects from infections, so why the vaccine
Fact: Some endow breastfeeding with miraculous and super-natural attributes that just don’t exist. Truly, breastfeeding provides good protection against certain infections, but this protection is incomplete and moreover, it is temporary. No, breastfeeding cannot be a substitute for vaccination.
Stated with the power of conviction, vaccines are safe! Immunization is imperative in keeping your child healthy and there is rarely a reason to not have him/her vaccinated!
Authored by Osama Bashi, M.D
Dubai London Clinic