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Vaccinations - Debunking the Myths

Vaccination Myths

January 21, 2021

Several myths about vaccines have found their way into everyday conversations, leaving people to wonder what’s best for them. Vaccines have been proven to be effective and necessary. They are crucial to help keep you and your loved ones safe, so you can keep doing what matters most to you. Knowing the general facts about vaccines can make the difference between living a happy, healthy life and contracting a preventable illness.

Myth: Vaccines Are Just for Children

Fact: Everyone Should Get Vaccinated

There are different vaccines available for people of all ages, not just children. Starting at birth, the Center for Disease Control recommends scheduled immunizations for children to help prevent life-threatening diseases and illnesses.

With age, the benefits of an administered vaccine can wear off, which leaves a person at a greater risk of contracting a preventable disease. Some booster vaccines are necessary to strengthen the vaccine’s effectiveness over time. The influenza vaccine is recommended by the CDC annually. This is why the CDC also recommends a detailed immunization schedule for adults.

Speak with your provider to find out what vaccines are needed during each stage of life to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Vaccines Cause Autism + Other Complications

Fact: Vaccines Are Safe

Many people fear vaccinating their children due to false claims that vaccines cause autism. Numerous studies have been conducted and scientists found no connection between vaccines and autism.

In order for a vaccine to become available to the general public, it must first go through an extensive testing and approval process. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversees clinical trials where thousands of people receive the trial vaccine, an established vaccine or a placebo injection. This allows scientists to compare side effects before the vaccine can be approved. Vaccines continue to be monitored and studied once they are licensed and recommended.

Myth: All Vaccines Contain Live Viruses

Fact: Only Certain Vaccines Contain Live Viruses

Some believe vaccines may make them sick because they contain a live virus. Dr. Stephen Rinderknecht, DO, says only a select number of vaccines contain live viruses, including varicella, rotavirus, MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) and the nasal flu vaccine.

The viruses within vaccines are treated in such a way that they won’t harm your body. Your immune system will respond to the inactive virus and build up immunity over time to fight off the naturally occurring virus that is trying to attack your body. Various factors such as the type of vaccine, preexisting conditions and age can affect the time it takes for your body to build up a defense against a virus.

Schedule an appointment with your provider to find out which vaccines are safe for you to receive.

Myth: “Everyone Else Has the Vaccine; I Don’t Need It.”

Fact: Vaccines Help Keep Your Community Safe

Vaccines are safe and effective, so if you can get vaccinated, you should. You protect yourself from potentially fatal and preventable diseases when you follow the recommended vaccination schedule.

When you receive a vaccination, you also protect others who are not old enough or healthy enough to get vaccinated themselves. When children and adults do not receive vaccinations, it causes bacteria and viruses to spread more widely, causing outbreaks. When everyone is properly vaccinated, it helps keep the entire community safe.

Vaccination is just one of several best practices to help keep you and your community healthy and free from illness. Wash your hands several times a day and stay home when you’re feeling ill. Ask your doctor about the next steps to making sure you and your loved ones are properly vaccinated.

Resources: CDC

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Dr. Stephen Rinderknecht, DO

Stephen Rinderknecht, DO is a physician at UnityPoint Clinic Pediatrics - Waukee and is dedicated to educating physicians and nurses to improve vaccination rates. He promotes the importance of vaccinations throughout our community, often visiting with local mothers' groups and presenting at medical, nursing and public health conferences throughout the state.