The recent resurgence of whooping cough in the United States has put the spotlight on several myths that have prompted a small but growing number of parents to opt against or delay childhood vaccinations. Some of these parents and other adults buying into these myths are not getting the booster shots they need, either (childhood vaccinations wear off over time). Their actions have increased the chances of whooping cough and other deadly diseases reappearing by weakening what the medical world calls “community immunity.”
Sue Hubbard, M.D., and general pediatrician at Children’s Medical Center warns,
When parents decide not to vaccinate, they put their children and all of their children’s friends at a real risk of contracting deadly diseases.”
Following we debunk three of the most common myths helping fuel this threat.
|Vaccines aren’t essential.|
The only eradicated disease is smallpox. Like whooping cough, some diseases still cause illness in the developed world. Others, such as polio, mainly occur in developing nations but could reappear anywhere with so many international travelers these days.
Adults who have not received their booster shots can contract a disease abroad, then pass it on to their children they have chosen not to get vaccinated or infants too young to be vaccinated.
|Children get too many shots at once, so it’s good to adjust or delay the schedule.|
Receiving vaccines aren’t as hard on a child’s immune system as parents may think. Children’s bodies face things daily that challenge their immune systems, such as bacteria that line the skin, nose, throat and intestines, as well as bacteria in food, water and the air.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "CDCP" recommends kids get vaccinated against 14 diseases over a two-year period.
|The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism.|
This myth gained traction in 1998, when The Lancet published a study authored by Andrew Wakefield, M.D., and colleagues. Last year, the journal’s editors retracted the paper, noting it held false and fraudulent information.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDCP and other major medical authorities have all concluded the MMR vaccine is not causing the rise in autism.