Infants and children get a lot of shots (vaccinations) to prevent against many different potentially fatal diseases. For this reason, parents or caregivers sometimes ask us as healthcare professionals to space apart, separate, or even not give some vaccines. Parents are worried that their child cannot handle so many shots at the same time. This is one of many concerns that parents may have about vaccinations. This blog entry provides you and your friends the facts about vaccines, to help you make an informed and wise decision about what’s best for your child. Please share this information with as many parents as you can.
MYTH: Multiple vaccines “overload” the immune system.
Kids DO get a lot of shots. But, they could handle even more. Each day, infants come into contact with millions of particles such as pollen, viruses, and bacteria that trigger their immune system.
The “immune system triggers” in vaccines are only a very small amount compared to those found in your child’s environment. Vaccines will not “overload” your child’s immune system.
So, be assured that the number of antigens from vaccines is miniscule … especially compared to all the ones that kids are exposed to in their environment.
MYTH: Infants get too many shots at once.
Some parents think that it would be better if their child didn’t get so many shots at the same time. But delaying or not giving some vaccinations is not a good idea. Doing this could leave your child unprotected against certain diseases.
Many childhood diseases are dangerous for young children. So it’s best to make sure your baby is protected by not delaying their shots. Also, it is much easier to stay up to date with your child’s shots, than to try and catch up.
Some readers may wonder about Dr. Bob Sears’ vaccine schedules which delay many vaccines to “spread them out” or deletes them entirely.
For example, his selective schedule suggests not giving flu vaccine at all … instead of at 6 months.
Again, delaying or declining vaccines leaves your child vulnerable to flu and other contagious diseases … and avoids virtually no risk.
Dr. Sears’ book gives a minority view … and this blog represents the view of THOUSANDS of experts.
MYTH: My kids don’t need vaccines if other kids get them.
It is true that your child has less of a chance of getting sick when your child plays with other children who have had their shots. But this doesn’t mean that your child can’t get sick.
To be protected, your child must also get their shots.
A good example of this is measles and whooping cough. Even though most children get vaccinated, children who do not get their shots have gotten measles or whopping cough, and some have even died.
Also, children who don’t get vaccines may get the disease, and then spread it to people who can’t be vaccinated or who could become seriously ill (e.g., newborn infants, pregnant women, older people).
MYTH: Vaccine-preventable illnesses are not that serious.
How quickly we forget. Before the measles vaccine, 3 million Americans a year got it … 48,000 were hospitalized … and 500 died.
For chickenpox, 1 in 200,000 unimmunized infants who get it die … 1 in 100,000 older kids die … and 1 in 500 are hospitalized.
MYTH: Vaccines are not tested well enough.
Just like prescription medicines, vaccines are tested in many children for a long time before they are given to all children.
Most vaccines are tested in even more children and for an even longer time than most medicines that you give your child.
For example, the pneumococcal vaccine was tested in 40,000 kids … compared to about 2,000 people for Savella (milnacipran), a brand new drug for fibromyalgia.
MYTH: Vaccines have too many side effects.
Before vaccines were available, many infants and children died from diseases we can now prevent. The diseases that vaccines prevent can be very dangerous.
In fact, diseases such as whooping cough, polio, measles, etc. could be much worse and more dangerous for your child than the side effects of any vaccine.
Even chickenpox can be serious. One in 200,000 unvaccinated infants who get chickenpox die…one in 100,000 older kids die…and one in 500 are hospitalized.
MYTH: Vaccines contain dangerous substances.
Mercury poisoning from pediatric vaccines is not a risk … today’s pediatric vaccines no longer contain thimerosal.
The aluminum babies get from infant formula is 10 times more than the amount in their shots during their first 6 months.
Mad cow disease also is not a risk, either. Some vaccines use bovine serum to help grow cells … but the prions that cause mad cow are in the brain tissue, NOT serum.
For more information on thimerosal from the CDC, click here. Also, see my previous blogs on thimerosal:
MYTH: Vaccines cause autism.
Some parents are convinced of a link. But extensive scientific and legal reviews have NOT shown a cause and effect relationship.
PROTECT YOUR CHILD AND VACCINATE
Infants and children receive more vaccines than ever before. But, these vaccines are safe and protect our children from serious diseases. If you have concerns about any vaccine your child is to get, talk to your child’s healthcare professional.
Remember, vaccines save lives!
You can read more details about these facts in previous blogs I’ve written: