Measles Outbreak Causes Parents to Face Truth About Vaccines

Myths About Vaccines Debunked

HEALTH- While most children in the U.S. receive the recommended vaccinations to protect them against infectious diseases like measles and mumps, the CDC has found that a small but growing percentage of young children aren’t getting their shots.

According to the CDC, the rates of unvaccinated toddlers appear to have quadrupled in the past 17 years. 

When CDC researchers looked at a 2017 national phone survey of families with toddlers, they found that 1.3 percent of the children born in 2015 had not received their recommended immunizations. In 2001, that percentage was 0.3 percent.

That is a concern, says Dr. Tsoline Kojaoghlanian, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at SBH Health System in the Bronx because vaccinations have saved hundreds of thousands of lives in the U.S. and prevented millions of hospitalizations over the years. 

There is certainly plenty of confusing information online about vaccines for children these days. And that can make it tough for parents to know what’s true and what’s not—and how to keep kids healthy. Part of this are due to common myths about vaccines.  

For example:

Myth· The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) causes autism.  

This has been widely debunked.

Myth· It’s safer to space out vaccines.  

Some parents wrongly believe spacing out a young child’s vaccines is safer. 

The vaccine schedule is based on disease risk and vaccine effectiveness.

Myth·  Vaccines make kids sick.  

The flu shot, for example, can result in some mild flu-like symptoms, but that means the vaccine is effectively building immunity.  

The chance of a serious reaction is less than one percent.

Myth· Vaccines contain harmful chemicals. 

Unless the child is allergic to one or more of the ingredients, these chemicals are in such small amounts that they are harmless. 

Myth·  Since everyone else vaccines their kids, why should I?  

Obviously, this is not always the case. Should an outbreak occur, those who are not vaccinated are more likely to get sick. You can not count on other people’s immunity to protect your children if you don’t vaccinate them.  

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