Vaccines were discovered in the late 1700s and have been crucial in preventing deadly diseases. Recommendations will change as new research is released and new vaccines are approved. So it is essential to stay up to date on recommendations by talking with your doctor.
Why Immunizations are Important
Vaccines (Immunizations) are responsible for saving the lives of countless individuals by preventing and even eradicating certain viruses and bacteria. It is important to note that vaccines do not always entirely prevent you from getting the virus or bacteria, but they can help to reduce symptoms and decrease the severity of the disease. Vaccines directly save lives and are a relatively simple way to keep yourself free of certain illnesses.
Understanding How Vaccines Work
Vaccines work with your body’s natural defense system (immune system) to help you develop immunity to certain diseases. They often contain a modified version or a portion of the virus or bacteria to imitate an infection. This imitation trains the body on how to fight future infections. It can take a few weeks to develop this immune response.
Myths regarding vaccines, perpetuated by celebrity attention, have contributed to distrust in routine vaccines. Myths and distrust have increased further during the COVID-19 pandemic as misinformation circulated with the advent of COVID-19 vaccines. Below are some concerns that have proven to be false.
Vaccines cause autism – two studies many years ago raised concern about a possible association between the MMR vaccine and autism. However, a review of the studies showed they were invalid. Several subsequent studies have shown NO association between autism and vaccinations.
Vaccines make you sick – vaccines may cause mild symptoms, but severe side effects are rare.
You may hear some say, “I get the flu from the flu shot” (or you may have felt this way yourself!). These symptoms are evidence of the immune system’s response to the vaccine. The symptoms are usually short-lived and much less bothersome than the illness itself. Having a reaction like this to one vaccine doesn’t mean you will respond the same way the next time.
Natural immunity is better – catching certain diseases may produce a more robust immune response than a vaccine, but the risk does not outweigh the reward. Exposure to many diseases can be deadly. Vaccines are available because of the risks of the infections they prevent against. It’s not worth the risk. Get the vaccine.
They contain toxic ingredients – some vaccines contain trace amounts of ingredients that can be toxic in large quantities. All FDA-approved vaccines contain safe amounts of these ingredients.
As we mentioned above, vaccines and recommendations change with time. It’s important to review your medical history with your doctor and discuss if additional vaccines are recommended. Parents, you can also discuss your children’s vaccination schedule with their primary care provider. Come prepared at your next visit with all of your vaccination questions. Your doctor is ready to talk!