Immunization is a process by which a child is made resistant to infections typically by administration of a vaccine. Here are a few myths and facts about vaccination.
Myth - All vaccine-preventable diseases are not serious. Fact - Most of the diseases are serious. Vaccination is the only mode of prevention for such diseases.
Myth - Immunity acquired by getting a disease is better when compared to vaccination. Fact - The immune response to vaccines is similar to the one produced by natural infection. However, the price paid for immunity through natural infection can be as high asbirth defects from congenital rubellaor even death from tetanus.
Myth - Vaccination overloadsmy baby’s immune system. Fact - A baby is exposed to countless organismsevery day. The number of organisms injected through immunization is negligible in comparison.
Myth - It is better to get one vaccine at a time. Fact - Thanks to combination vaccines, a child gets protection from multiple diseases with just one injection. E.g.:
MMR protects against mumps, measles and rubella/li>
6-in-1 vaccine protects against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, H Influenza-B, polio and hepatitis B.
Myth - MMR vaccine causes autismbr>
Fact - A paper published in 1998, establishing a link between the two, was proved fraudulent. Subsequent studies have also found no link.
Myth - There will be fewer side effects if I delay my baby's vaccine Fact - It is important to start vaccines at a very young age as the uptake of the vaccines is better. On the contrary, the child is more vulnerable to acquire the disease, if delayed.
Myth - My child does not need vaccine against eradicated diseases. Fact - These diseases still exist,though rare. An unvaccinated child is at risk when these diseases are imported.
Myth - Diseases will not spread if we ensure proper hygiene and sanitation. Fact - Many infections spread regardless of cleanliness. If the children are not vaccinated, uncommon diseases such as polio, may reoccur.
Myth - Vaccines have harmful side effectsbr>
Fact - Vaccines are rigorously tested and adhere to strict standards before they are put out in the market. Side effects are rare.
Myth - Vaccines cannot be given if my child has cold. Fact - Minor illnesses like cold or recent antibiotic is not a contraindication. However, it is best to consult your paediatrician before immunization.
Vaccines are one of the greatest pillars of modern medicine. As science continues to advance, they continue to protect from potentially devastating illnesses.
Let us remember this year’s theme "Protected together #vaccines work"
Article by Dr. Pushkala Mittur Sundararajan
MBBS., MD., PGDID