More than 90% of pediatricians have at least one parent who refuses vaccinations for their children. That is a dangerous statistic. Even one unvaccinated child can be responsible for the spread of a disease in a community. Vaccination is a critical part of our health infrastructure, and, sadly, some parents are so inundated with misinformation about vaccinations that they refuse to get them out of fear, ignorance, or distrust of the system. Let’s look at some common vaccination myths and expose them for what they really are: tripe.
Myth #1: Getting several vaccines will overwhelm children’s fragile immune systems.
Even though the immunization schedule that your child is recommended can seem a little overwhelming, it’s nothing to be concerned about. A baby’s body is a lot better able to handle those vaccines than you might think though. They are constantly bombarded with threats from the outside environment, like food, dust particles, and bacteria. Compared to what a baby responds to on any given day, a vaccine is nothing. The truth is that it’s very safe to let your baby be administered several vaccines or vaccine combinations. It’s also important to remember that vaccines are just as effective given in a mix as they are in an individual dose.
Myth #2. Since other children are getting the vaccine, my children don’t need to get it.
Boy, is this a mistake? Skipping vaccinations can put your child at risk for serious, life threatening diseases. Definitely, the ability of vaccinations to stop the spread of infection is based on having a certain number of children vaccinated. Medical researchers called this ‘herd immunity’. Sadly, the level of vaccination necessary to stop the spread of diseases like measles from spreading is really high (at about 95%). The national vaccination rate for children ages 19 to 35 months is just 80% though. That number increases as your child progresses to school age though.