Myths around Vaccination – Know the Facts!
We are in the middle of a global pandemic due to the novel coronavirus. And the terrified people around the world are asking just one question. When is the vaccine for COVID-19 coming out? Yes, everyone is waiting for that miracle vaccine to protect them from getting the disease. But what about the other deadly diseases like Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus for which vaccines are already available? The DTP combination vaccine is part of the mandatory childhood immunization program by Govt. of India. But due to certain myths around vaccination & lack of awareness, parents choose not to vaccinate their babies.
In the 20th century, Smallpox killed 300 million people. Today, thanks to Vaccination, smallpox is eradicated¹.
India became Smallpox free in 1977².
I have been sharing my views about vaccines on my blog since long. But, every time I get a mixed response from my readers. There is always someone who doesn’t believe in the effectiveness of vaccines. I try to share the facts and figures from verified sources to make them understand the importance of vaccination. Because I feel it’s necessary to educate parents. Or, at least, motivate them to talk with their doctor about their doubts.
Just like smallpox, we have been successful in eradicating Polio from our country through the Pulse Polio Immunization Programme.
India became Polio free in 2014².
What if people refused to get vaccinated for smallpox & polio? Would it have been possible to eradicate these diseases? NO!
When parents refuse vaccines for their babies, they not only put the life of their baby at risk but also other children in the community.
It is extremely important to educate people & bust myths around vaccination by talking about the benefits of vaccines.
Let’s Bust some Major Myths and know the Facts About Vaccines
Myth – Vaccines are not safe. The child can get the disease from the vaccine. Or, the preservatives in the vaccine can cause autism.
Fact – Vaccines are made using the dead virus/bacteria or using the inactivated toxin. Hence, there is no way they can cause the same disease.
For instance, the DTaP vaccine which is given to babies at 6, 10 & 14 weeks is one of the safest vaccines. It consists of inactivated toxin from organisms causing Diphtheria & Tetanus. And uses only a part of the Pertussis bacteria (acellular) which makes the vaccine highly safe.
Also, people fearing the use of preservatives in vaccines can now opt for preservative-free vaccines which are safe and effective.
Additionally, vaccines go through a rigorous procedure of evaluation and assessment by WHO before being distributed for public use. Therefore, you may check for WHO prequalified vaccines to be sure of their safety.
Myth – Another myth around vaccination is that there is no use of vaccines if the disease is almost eradicated.
Fact – This is not true. The disease may be eradicated from some countries but if it is still prevalent in other parts of the world, there’s a chance of reappearance.
Let’s take the example of Polio. It’s a highly infectious disease of the nervous system which can cause paralysis and even death³. India is now Polio free but the disease is still common in 3 other countries. Hence, there’s a risk that it can spread through people travelling to/from these countries.
Thus, the WHO has recommended continuing the polio vaccine until the disease is globally eradicated.
Now, parents can also opt for combination vaccines, such as hexavalent DTaP-IPV-HB-Hib vaccine. It protects against 6 major childhood diseases, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Hepatitis B & Haemophilus Influenzae B.
This World Immunization Week (24 April to 30 April), I urge you to talk about your doubts regarding vaccination with your doctor. Let’s educate ourselves about the importance of vaccines for everyone.
What’s #YourCareQuotient? How much do you understand your child when it comes to sleep patterns, feeding and vaccination? Take the easy, interactive quiz that guides you and get the childcare guide now.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger/ third party This is a part of the public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.