Vaccination – 6 misconceptions you need to clarify
Everything you need to know about Vaccination and associated misconceptions
Every single person who is reading this article is aware of vaccination. It is a method to prevent serious disease due to bacterial and viral infection. There had been a lot of dilemma regarding vaccination. A number of people advocates for and against vaccination. The statistics stand for vaccination. Some decades ago, India was suffering from Polio, measles, smallpox etc. We had managed to eradicate many of those dreadful diseases. Still, there is a long way to go!
India has the largest childbirth rate and 20% of infant mortality worldwide is in India. Our nation had taken bold steps regarding vaccination and immunization. We could completely eliminate smallpox and become a smallpox-free nation. There are other diseases, which we are immune to like Pneumonia, Cholera, Plague, Hepatitis B, Influenza, TB etc. But there is still stagnant attitude towards vaccination, majorly in rural areas due to ignorance.
What is vaccination?
You know why chicken pox doesn’t affect a person twice? When a person is suffering from chicken pox, an antibody is created in the body to fight the antigens of the disease. There are memory cells, so that next time an antigen tries to infect body; it remembers the enemy and antibodies fights against it. Vaccination follows the same principle. It is known as acquired immunity. The immunity we are gifted naturally in natural immunity. Vaccines contain weakened or killed microbodies (bacteria). When a vaccine is administrated, the microbodies are injected into the body. Our body’s immune system produces antibodies against the antigen and remembers it.
When the same antigen is confronted later in life, our body already acquired the immunity to fight against it, thus prevents the disease. Though some use immunization and vaccination synonymously, they differ. Immunization is the process of making a child body immune against diseases while vaccination is the administration of vaccines. It is obvious that vaccination is a part of immunization. There are single shot vaccines and series vaccines. The series of vaccines is commonly called Boosters.
Common misconceptions about vaccination
Natural Immunity is better
This is the most common misconception. Many presume that natural immunity can fight any disease if the child is having proper nutrients. But that is not the case. If it was so, there won’t be any of these diseases in the first place. Natural immunity has a limit. What we are trying to fight is also a part of nature. Acquired immunity helps the body to fight against the foreign antigens they are not aware. To develop natural immunity one need to catch the disease. But the consequences will be horribly serious, paralysis, failure of organs or even death. The immunity so developed will be of no use.
We can simply put it this way. A common person can fight with a person who is equally week. But to fight a stronger one, the person has to be trained else, he would fail miserably. Same goes for our body immunity also. The immune system needs to be trained to fight against stronger bacteria.
Some even think maintaining hygiene would be enough to survive the situation. Even the best hygienic practices that a human can follow can’t resist certain germs and infections.
Mother is breastfeeding the baby, there is no need for
It is a fact that breast milk provides immunity to the baby. But that won’t be enough to fight possible dreadful diseases. The immunity acquired through breast milk will prevent certain infections, respiratory and other possible mild infections. But the child won’t be able to resist serious attacks from much stronger bacteria and/or virus.
These diseases no longer exist. Hence no need for vaccination
It is true that we were able to reduce the level of people who are affected by many diseases substantially. However, the diseases still exist. The eradication is not fool-proof. Also, certain diseases still exist around in many areas. The rate stays low since most people are vaccinated and the virus doesn’t get a chance to spread out (Herd immunity). The minority of unimmunized stays safe. When the number of the minority increases, there is a chance of outburst of the disease. Even if there is no outburst, an unimmunized person can suffer a lot if the diseases are affected.
Vaccination can cause Autism and SIDS
Many argue that Autism is taking a higher side and it is due to vaccination. Some studies raised a hypothesis that autism occurs due to MMR (Measles –mumps –rubella) vaccine. Several studies were conducted regarding the issue, but none found a link between vaccination and autism. In fact, studies found that autistic children had the symptoms even before administration of MMR vaccines. Though reason of autism remains unknown, vaccines aren’t responsible for the same.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome also is known as Cot death or Crib death is the sudden death of infants mostly in sleep. The reason for SIDS is also unknown. Many tried to link vaccination and death, but couldn’t prove it.
Infants can’t handle vaccinations especially multiple ones.
Infants have a higher immunity than we think. The blood cells are continuously replenished in the body. They can handle the antigens in the vaccines. There will be only minor issues like sore arm or fever, which will subside soon. There is more risk in not taking vaccination than taking one. Meningitis can cause brain dysfunction or polio can cause paralysis. These risks are avoided when we take vaccinations.
Some vaccinations are combined ones, i.e., immunity against multiple diseases is acquired in a single shot. Many believe this is harmful to babies and cause serious problems. This is also false.
Vaccines are toxic and cause disease that it is fighting against
Most parents worry about the safety of vaccines. When hearing the explanation about vaccines, many think why there is need to inject the problem causing bacteria to the body and what if it causes the disease it is preventing. The microbodies in vaccines are properly treated, either weakened or killed. It can’t cause the disease, as it is so weak to fight against the antibodies produced by our immune system.
Administrators regularly conduct the tests for the safety of vaccines. It contains no toxins or any harmful substance that cause any kind of impairment to the body. The vaccines have chemicals lower than we are exposed in daily life. Some argue that Thimerosal, a mercury contained chemical, which is the preservative of vaccines can cause harm. However, we consume more mercury through milk and milk products daily than in the vaccines.
Vaccines have managed to save millions of lives around the world. All governments take special care about vaccination programs, as it is necessary for the social and economic growth of a country. The governments produce free vaccinations also to ensure people are properly immunized. However, no vaccination is foolproof. There is a minor chance of 1% that the disease is affected even if vaccinations are taken. But that doesn’t validate the point of restraining from vaccination as 99% of times, it successfully prevents the disease. To ensure your child is immunized completely, maintain an immunization/vaccination chart. When vaccines are administrated, check the expiry date of vaccines.
Properly trained medical professionals must administrate injection vaccines.
You can contact nearby hospitals or doctors to get more details about each vaccine, diseases prevented. Also, seek help from doctors to take care of the child after vaccination as the child may have mild discomfort or fever.
Vaccines do nothing wrong against nature or morality. Taking care of health and measures to prevent the disease is inevitable to lead a healthy life. Please ensure your children are properly immunized for a bright, healthy future of him/her.
I hope this article helped you understand more about Vaccinations and misconceptions regarding it.
Indiana hospital and heart institute are one of the best hospitals in Mangalore, Karnataka. We offer latest medical service equipped with advanced technology and a mind of compassion. Our specialized departments with expert doctors are always at your service. Well trained paramedics team is available 24×7 for emergency services.