As a paediatric clinic, we get asked a lot of questions on vaccines, and there are especially a lot of misconceptions regarding their side effects. Here, Dr Wai will try to dispel some myths about vaccines. She believes that vaccines are amazing and that they help protect her family from some really nasty diseases out there.
Q: What do vaccines do?
A: Vaccines work by preparing the body to fight illness. Each contains either a dead or a weakened germ (or parts of it) that causes a particular disease. Your body then makes antibodies to those weakened germs and will protect your body from it in future.
Q: Can getting so many vaccines at once harm my baby?
A: Babies have stronger immune systems than you might think, and they can handle far more germs than what they receive from vaccines. In fact, the amount of germs in vaccines is just a small percentage of the germs babies' immune systems deal with every day.
Q: Do immunizations or thimerosal cause autism?
A: No. Numerous studies have found NO LINK between vaccines and autism
Q: Why do kids need to be immunized if a disease has been eliminated?
A: Diseases that are rare or nonexistent in the country, like polio or measles, still exist in other parts of the world. Doctors continue to vaccinate against them because it's easy to come into contact with illnesses through travel — either when we travel abroad or when people who aren't properly immunized come to the country.
MYTH: It’s better to get vaccines one at a time.
FACT: Thanks to combination vaccines, your child can get protection from many different diseases with one injection (shot). Examples include MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and the 5-in-1 vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Hib disease). Studies show that combination vaccines are safe and effective. There is no reason for your child to get the vaccines one at a time. Getting more than one vaccine at once also means no delay in protection, fewer medical visits and fewer needles (which can be less traumatic).
MYTH: The MMR vaccine causes autism.
FACT: No, the MMR vaccine does not cause autism. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Because signs of autism may appear around the same age that children receive the MMR vaccine, some people believe the vaccine causes the condition.
Myth: I’m breastfeeding, so my baby is protected from infections.
FACT: Breastfeeding is not a substitute for vaccination. Breastfeeding provides some protection against certain infections, especially viral respiratory infections, ear infections and diarrhea. But this protection is incomplete, temporary, and can be overcome if your baby is exposed to large amounts of a specific germ.
Myth: Natural is better. We shouldn’t put foreign substances like vaccines into our bodies.
FACT: Natural is not always better. The germs that vaccines protect against are part of nature, but they are harmful. Many things in nature should not be ingested: Some of the most powerful poisons come from plants and berries and insects. Vaccines are made from natural sources. Some vaccines are made from live germs that have undergone changes so they can’t cause illness. Others contain only part of the germ that has been pulled out and purified. Vaccines stimulate our immune system the same way the infection would, but without making us sick.
MYTH: Most diseases are not serious.
FACT: All of the diseases that children are vaccinated against are serious. They can all cause serious illness, complications and death, even with the best medical care. Many of these diseases also have no cure.
MYTH: My child doesn’t need vaccines because no one gets these diseases anymore.
FACT: These diseases still exist, even if they are rare. Thanks to vaccine programs, all vaccine-preventable diseases have declined worldwide. But when immunization rates drop, these diseases can come back.
If you have any questions about vaccines, please visit Bright Star Clinic, or call us at 03-2303 9391 or WhatsApp us at 017-737 5198. We believe that Vaccine is Protection.
“With Good Health, Our Children Can Shine Brighter”