There are a number of vaccination myths which make parents reluctant to vaccinate their child but there is sufficient evidence to prove they are wrong.
Myth 1: Vaccines are not safe
- Vaccines are held to the highest standard of safety
- They go through years of testing before they can be licensed
- All recommended vaccines are completely safe
Myth 2 – It is better to be naturally infected than be vaccinated
- Most vaccine preventable diseases have complications. Measles can cause encephalitis, deafness may occur following mumps, congenital rubella syndrome, pertussis can be fatal in infants
Myth 3 – MMR causes autism
- There is no link between MMR and Autism
- Andrew Wakefield, (UK, 1998) studied just 12 cases of children with autism and linked this to MMR vaccination. This study was later retracted
- Brent Taylor et al, (UK, 1999) studied 498 cases of autism and could find no link between this and MMR vaccination
- Meldgaard et al (Denmark, 2002) followed 537,304 children born between 1991 and 1998 for 4 years and no link between MMR and autism was found
Myth 4 – Thimerosal is used as a preservative and can cause brain damage
- Today most vaccines have little or no thimerosal at all in the preparation
Myth 5 – Allergy to eggs is a contraindication to MMR vaccination
- Children who are allergic to eggs can still receive the MMR vaccine
- However, they cannot receive the Influenza or Yellow Fever vaccine
Myth 6 – If a part of the course of immunisation is delayed, it has to be started all over again
- If a course of immunisation is interrupted, it should be resumed and completed as soon as possible. There is no need to start a course of immunisation all over again.
Myth 7 – A single dose of MMR is enough to provide seroconversion
- At least two doses are necessary for seroconversion of all three antigens.
Visit www.gov.mt for the national immunisation schedule
© 2017 – VIDA Magazine – Charmaine Gauci